I told y’all about two weeks ago now that we were having the front porch repaired. I meant to come back in about two days and show you pictures of how it looks now. But, NO! I had a nasty virus attack my computer before I could do that, and it took a while to get it back to normal. As a matter of fact, it took until today to get it back up to speed.
This particular virus, the CryptoWall 3.0 Virus, is really vicious. And mean, and ugly. The people who thought this up did it to extort money from people. Yes, that is a crime, but how are you going to report that to police, or whoever it is that governs the internet. I don’t think anyone really does govern the internet.
But anyway, I was going through my emails, and I have to say right here that I get about 150 emails a day. Sometimes more, sometimes fewer, but about 150. I go through the emails while I have my morning coffee. I delete everything that I know is junk, or something that I know I don’t want to read. I mark ones I want to reply to with a yellow star, move some to a different folder if it is a reply to a previous email that I need to keep, etc., and so on. This day, I had an email from someone who has hired me before to write an article as a freelance writer, so I felt that it was ok to open that email.
I noticed that the email had an attachment named “invoice”, but that is not unusual for me to get attachments like that. I just thought that it was an invoice template that I needed to fill out and send back, for a business transaction. Sooo….that was the exact wrong thing to do. As soon as I opened that invoice, things happened pretty quickly. Like zip, bam, boom! and all of a sudden, all my picture files and all my document files were encrypted.
Encryption is not a bad thing, in most instances. You can encrypt your files so that anyone who does not have the de-cryption code can not read your files. If you have encrypted your files, you will need to send a decryption code separately in a different email, so that the recipient of your files can open them. Only, I could not open my own files. Whenever I clicked on any of them, MY FILES, I was referred to a website that had instructions for getting a decryption code to unlock MY FILES. And, for ONLY $500, the crooks would send me that code. AND, if I did not send the $500 within 7 days, they would increase the ransom to $1000. For MY FILES.
If this ever happens to YOU, DO NOT send money. They will not send you a code to unlock your files, even if you do send money. As a matter of fact, they may even send you an email telling you that you have to pay more money to get the code. And honey, they ain’t ever going to send you a code. EVER!
I had to take my computer to the computer shop in town. They reformatted my hard drive and set my computer back to factory settings. I lost my photo files and document files, because those babies would never be unlocked. Lucky for me, I had backed up my files last month, so I didn’t lose much. Except for the $89 fee I paid to the computer repair shop, and my time lost that I could not use my computer.
I still have gift guide posts that need to be published, and I should have been done with that by now. I am so so sorry that I have let my sponsors down. But, even if it is after Christmas, all of the items I received for my gift guide will be posted. After all, most of you will receive gift cards for Christmas, and will still be shopping and looking for the right gifts for yourself after the holidays are over. I appreciate all the businesses who had faith in me and who sent me these things. And I feel sick about this whole thing. So, that is why I haven’t posted in a while. And why I am hoping that you will come back and read all the post I will be doing in the next week to catch up. Thanks. And Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Seasons Greetings, and all that. Be happy.