At the end of August this year my trusty but old computer crashed. It took with it every photo I'd ever taken digitally plus every word I'd written since 1995. It basically took away my life because I use my camera and Adobe Photoshop to make my art. My son, who is now a certifiable genius, loaned me his notebook and took on the arduous and sometimes seemingly impossible task of resurrecting my old computer from the dead.
Things went along well for 3 months while he sporadically probed the depths of my computer. I continued to take photos and use photoshop daily. I started listing my photos on Etsy...a long time dream of mine. So imagine my surprise when two weeks ago I went to one of my picture sites to retrieve some photos and when clicking on what looked like my gallery link initiated a tsunami of malware and trojans onto his notebook.
It seems that the innocent looking Adobe Acrobat Reader that popped up and then closed on my screen was hiding some nasty stuff that followed my keystrokes and wouldn't let me out of its stranglehold unless I BOUGHT the software needed to erase the viruses it had downloaded to me. Cyber blackmail at its best. Needless to say that notebook crashed and along with it three months of photos, notes, emails, etc. I was back to where I'd started...unable to connect in cyberspace with anyone.
Long story short. This latest cyber attack on my computer put my son into hyperdrive and he worked one solid week to restore my old computer and protect it from every and all nasty and malicious software that tried to worm its way in. He succeeded so well that I have my restored computer working better, faster and safer than ever before. And I can once again blog, post and list to my heart's content.
The moral of this story is simple. TRUST NO ONE. Even if a friend sends you a letter and there is a link, jpg or doc file in it don't click on it unless you computer tells you it's been checked for incoming viruses. As far as clicking links on websites...that's a crap shoot, I guess. I thought that this picture site was safe but they had obviously been hacked by professionals. This has happened on Twitter and even Facebook so the best advice is to be sure your security software is up to date.
BTW...the link you will be taken to if you click the title of this post is BusinessWeek. There you can read the full story about Adobe and their Hacker battle.
Happy Thanksgiving to all my tweets and facebook friends!