Ransomware is escalating world-wide, causing home and office workers to lose files and valuable time. As a dental practice, you are not immune. Even careful computer users can fall victim to this crime but knowledge is still the best defense. Please take a moment to review this announcement to ensure your office understands how to protect itself.

What is Ransomware?

This is a type of malware that encrypts files on your computer so that they cannot be opened, and then demands a payment (ransom) to unlock (decrypt) the files. It is typically installed when opening malicious attachments or links from email, social media sites or instant messaging programs. It can also be installed when visiting a malicious website. Often, these appear to be from trustworthy sources.

How to protect yourself?

According to Microsoft (, the following actions can help:

  • Keep all of the software on your computer up to date. Make sure automatic updating is turned on to get all the latest Microsoft security updates.
  • Keep your firewall turned on.
  • Don't open spam email messages or click links on suspicious websites.
  • Use a reputable antivirus and anti-malware program.
Can it infect my backup?

YES! The virus can spread to all network connections including USB ports, external hard drives and even cloud backup services that present to the computer as a writable drive. An offsite/offline backup, which is not constantly connected to the network, will offer a safe place to restore should this happen to you. Our eBackUp solution can provide this safety net with automated offsite backup over the Internet. Whatever backup method you use, make sure that it is backing up the correct information and doing so regularly. If you have upgraded to Dentrix G5, changed servers, or had your data location moved for any reason, make sure that your backup is looking at the current location of your database.

Who do I call if I am infected or have further questions about securing my office?

As with any type of network security we recommend that you work with a hardware technician to ensure you are thoroughly protected. Please get in touch with your hardware technician or Henry Schein TechCentral (877-483-0382) for questions about securing your network.

Author: Brad Royer
Published: 11/30/2014
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