On Monday night, we stayed up until midnight to find out what the school admissions results were for my younger daughter. She got in to the same school as my older daughter which was a huge relief. We were both prepared for a fight and had a line of action in place if things didn’t go to plan. Tuesday was therefore meant to be a day of celebration. Instead at around 7pm, the unthinkable happened. Ransomware had infected my old laptop.
Switch off the wireless
My husband saw it and immediately switched off the wireless on my old laptop which was the same advice I was given from work. I have a new laptop but I hadn’t got around to transferring everything onto my new laptop yet. There wasn’t much left but because I still had my old laptop, even though it takes ages to do something I wasn’t in a real rush to transfer everything over. Nearly all my files I save in the cloud, either on Dropbox for my personal stuff and google drive for my work stuff. It should be safe or so I thought.
Google Drive and Dropbox App
I’ve downloaded the apps so that I can save files on my laptop rather than having to keep transferring things or working off the internet all the time. Unfortunately, by the time I went to check my laptop again 2 hours later all my files on Dropbox and google drive had become corrupted. Especially because everything syncs quite quickly when the internet is on. It thought I had lost everything.
At work I have a shared drive too and I don’t know if I had corrupted anything in there too. I’m still getting over how careless I had been. I normally double check everything and I’m double cautious when opening something but I went onto a site that I trusted and I went to download a pdf file and it said that your adobe reader was out of date and you needed to update it. So, I did. Stupidly.
Recovering the files I had lost
Luckily, when I got in contact with Dropbox, they were able to rollback the files to an event that took place before the malware had infected everything. See this link for more information. All my personal files were saved. I tried to find something similar for google drive which they don’t have but everything I used seemed to have been in the bin. So again, I seemed to have recovered most of my files for work too and even in some of the shared folders. The only thing I’m sort of waiting for is how it’s going to affect my emails. Surely, that can’t be it? Or if it is, wow, thank god for cloud and for saving everything online.
Only the other day, I read an article in the Economist about cyber security which can be found here and here. It talks about how people’s attitude to it is lax and how it is quite hard anyway to be completely secure. I guess that could be why I’m still waiting for something else to happen but on the plus side, it’s also been fairly easy to retrieve everything that I thought I had lost too.
The next day, it took me until Wednesday afternoon to open even my new laptop because I was so worried. I didn’t want my brand-new laptop to be somehow infected too. I’m now trying to learn everything I can about cybersecurity. Most of the time I rely on my husband to fix it as he works in IT and so he’s in charge of all IT related stuff in the house and most of the time that’s fine. But I do need to be a bit more clued-up about all of this myself. Plus, it’s such a big thing with kids online all the time too.