Monday, December 17, 2012


Last December, my first post with The Writers Vineyard was How to Avoid Being Attacked by a Trojan. Today, I must share that last night I (actually, my computer) was attacked by a vicious Trojan. I was totally freaked out this morning when I turned on my computer and Windows didn’t boot. Instead, I got a message that I (pardon, my computer) was being booted in a safe mode because Windows couldn’t start up.

I use (OK, my computer uses) high-end protection—top-of-the-line Norton, I will confide—just renewed last week. Without it, I (and my computer) would have been up a creek last night. (I know I shouldn’t anthropomorphize my computer but at least I didn't give it a name—only Baby)

Left Champagne’s virtual Christmas party at Coffee Time Romance with a little bourbon buzz, so didn’t do anything else. No new programs loaded. No visits to outrageous sites or dangerous searches for images for my blog. Nothing. Just that blank screen this morning with the heart-stopping message. When I finally got my baby up and running, I did an hour-plus scan for invaders using both updated Windows and Norton programs. Even ran the last-ditch-will-delete-your-good-programs, Norton Eraser.

Then I found a message on my activity log. At 1:49 am, I had attempted to turn on my computer. No, I hadn’t, I was sleeping soundly. I had carelessly left my portable Hotspot on, even though it’s protected also.

LESSON? Get that protection installed. Writers can’t afford to lose their work. My Norton is set for a daily online auto-backup of my important docs (free if you limit the number of your files backed-up) and I do a monthly backup of the whole computer on an external device. Christmas brings some dirt-cheap sales on software and external devices. You can even get the virus software for free or almost-free. Any techie friend will be glad to help. JUST DO IT—it’s probably deductible!!

Until next month when I offer up a late Christmas gift, HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

 Rita Bay
"Celebrating Romance Across the Ages" with Rita Bay's Blog

"Into the Lyons' Den" Champagne Books, August, 2012
"The Aegis" Champagne Books, April, 2013
"Her Teddy Bare" Champagne Book Group, Carnal Passions May, 2013
"Finding Eve" Champagne Books, September, 2013


Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Scary. Glad you knew what to do.

Richard Hacker said...

I hear and feel your pain. As someone who had a laptop stolen last March, I had backups on an external hard drive requiring me to physically hard wire my computer to the drive. Now I also back up all of my writing to the cloud and have an hourly automated wireless back up to an external drive. The nice thing about the cloud backup is having a backup in a different location. The home, neighborhood or city may burn to the ground, but a back up lives on in a server somewhere else. Writers are a paranoid lot, aren't we?

Rita Bay said...

I was SO scared. A new laptop with all the software you could possibly require to prevent it and it still happened.

Backups are so important. I have three going and still am paranoid. I like to think it's an excess of caution which probably wasn't so excessive. Rita