“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”  Rainer Maria Rilke

Well… The New Year’s resolution to stop procrastinating has already been broken.  Seems the desire to write a newsletter has gone to battle with the desire to do anything but write a newsletter and the “anything but” is winning!

So… dragging my body back to the writing:  I want to say a great big THANK YOU to all of you who voted Comp-U-Talk as the #1 Computer Store in the Bay Area.  The poll was conducted by the World Newspaper and you can see the final tabulations here: https://tinyurl.com/4jkxh3az

December was a rough month.  Maintaining E-Mail servers is a nightmare and several years ago, I made the decision to outsource all email hosting.  It is one of the best decisions I have ever made.  I divided my email domains across three different mail servers.  I’ve been considering consolidating them under one server, because managing one server is definitely easier than managing three servers, but December changed my mind!

On my birthday, I woke up to alerts about email not sending or receiving.  No Problem… The Email server teams will take care of that, all I have to do is report it and keep the end users updated concerning the status. 

Long story short, one of the major email hosts for the entire globe has been ransomed.  This is BAD NEWS!  It took many hours on hold and many calls to tech support to get mail moving again, and we are still waiting for many of the mailboxes to recover historical emails.  Fortunately for me, only some of my domains were on this hosted server.  I don’t think I will be consolidating the email servers anytime soon!

This was a miserable experience.  If the big guys, who have 24x7x365 technicians and dedicated security troops can be ransomed, how can the little guys survive?  The awful truth is:  If the criminals decide they want to take over, they will.  There is a saying in the tech security world:  It’s not  a matter of “IF” you are hacked, it is a matter of “WHEN” you are hacked. 

What to do?  If you don’t have cyber insurance, get some!  But you will need to have your ducks in a row before you apply.  Not using Multi Factor Authentication?  If it is available, implement it!  Using the same password for multiple online accounts?  Give each account a unique password.  And by unique, I don’t mean add a “1”, “2”, or “3” to each password.  Unique means each password is completely different.  Just like “Apple$” is different from “Orange$”!

In 2021, cyber liability insurance premiums jumped by a staggering 74%.  And guess what?  Carriers are sick of paying ransomware ransoms, and many have stopped. Paying ransoms to terrorist groups is now considered a crime. That means your only recovery will be from backups.  And cloud backups are safer than local backups.  Local backups can be ransomed just as easily as the local machine.  Cloud backups generally have security in place that doesn’t allow overwriting previous backups.

Need help protecting your computing environment?  Give me a call.  I’d love to help. 

Until next month, Stay Safe, Stay Healthy,

Happy New Year,

Because It Made Me Laugh!

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