none yet
none yet
none yet

Protection from Ransomware

Wednesday 28 June 2017 |
Brendan Pike
Protection from Ransomware

Since there is no cure then we are only left with prevention and that’s always the superior path in any case.

Prevention is the key, here's what you should be doing.

1. Backup your data

A good backup regime is an extensive topic not suitable for this post. Your research, recordings and transcriptions are valuable assets. At a minimum though, you will have an off-site backup and preferably with file versioning. This last point is important because if your documents became ransomware encrypted and then were backed-up, this backup copy becomes useless - so you must have access to earlier versions. This may sound daunting but it needn’t be. There are many good online backup services that provide this, SpiderOak is one such service that starts at $5 (USD) a month for 100GB.

OutScribe clients are able to subscribe to our Repository so that all transcripts are backed-up on our secure server.  Small price for peace of mind.

2. Update everything

Up to date systems and programs are usually secured against known exploits.

  • Operating System
    Ensure your Microsoft operating system is fully up to date. This exploit was patched last month (June 2017) and it was provided for older platforms where full updates were not an option.
  • Antivirus
    Your antivirus software is only effective if up to date.

3. Don’t open documents from unknown users

These attacks usually try to get users to open an infected Word or PDF document. This infected document is usually attached to a fake email but could also be a linked document which you are asked to download and open. So unless you are confident of your source of the email - don’t open attachments.

4. Be wary of connecting to your work network

If you usually connect to your work or university network, hold off until you know it's safe. Whether you are an academic or researcher working in a large university, a lawyer at the biggest legal firm, or a medical officer at the largest hospital, your network may still be vulnerable. The Petya ransomware is known to even infect updated computers on the same network.

5. When possible use Linux

Linux is the most security scrutinised operating system available thanks to its open architecture. Malicious viruses like the Petya ransomware will always target low hanging fruit. For many, using Linux may not be possible due to work restrictions or specific windows software requirements, but for most of us it's a compelling free alternative. One popular windows styled version is Linux Mint which includes a Microsoft Word compatible software called LibreOffice.

To summarise, if you have files, photos or anything you care about back-up immediately then work on the rest of the list too.


e-Steamed Clients

  • Quote start

    I love your website; very easy to use.

    Simon, Hepburn Wind

  • Quote start

    I like the client interface that you have available – nice and simple and easy to understand.

    Yvette, Happy Child

  • Quote start

    What a wonderful service, signing up was painless too! Just wanted to pass on how impressed I am with you, I will definitely be using your service again.

    Dimi, Foundation House

  • Quote start

    My gratitude for the transcript, it's very good, thanks so much! (also the process was surprisingly easy and a relief!)

    Maureen, University of Queensland

  • Quote start

    I have now been using OutScribe for four years and found the response of the OutScribe service extremely prompt and accommodating.  I would recommend the service to anyone who needs regular information typed.

    Mark, University of New South Wales

  • Quote start

    Just a quick note to say thank you very much for the wonderful service you offer. I would highly recommend your service to our organisational partners.

    Souzi, NFP Research

  • Quote start

    John and Zen, Empower Your English - EYE

Steamy Features

  • Upload all your files at once, just drag 'n' drop

    Drag 'n Drop uploads
  • Work collaboratively & privately with unlimited projects

  • Let me see if I've got this right, you need to...

    1. Collaborate with colleagues from other organisations
    2. On some but not all of your projects
    3. While allowing others to upload and download files
    4. Having different invoicing requirements per project
    5. At no extra cost

    Of course we can