PCM 29: Now You Have to Worry About Ransomware!

Digital thieves can lock you out from your own computer and demand a ransom to get it and your files back.

ransomwaresmallIt’s called ransomware and it’s one of the most insidious schemes on the Internet. And authorities seem absolutely helpless to do anything about it. If it happens to you – and it is to a lot of people everyday – you are on your own.

So listen up to this episode of the podcast as we expose the way this happens and what you can do about it. Youll learn first hand from a victim of ransomware.

The first clue is a warning screen saying “this ocmuter is blocked.” The hackers pose as some quasi official group – like “the firewall of the United States” – and make you think you did something wrong.

You can play the episode right below….


Show Notes for Episode #29 Aug. 21, 2015 of the PC Mike podcast:

Thingamajig of the Week:

This week’s “Thingamajig of the Week” is a look at two new phones from Verizon’s “Uber User,” Paul Ulerich. Paul goves us his impression of the new Samsung Galaxy S6 and the new Galaxy Note 5.

This podcast is brought to you by Verizon Wireless, the nation’s largest and most reliable 4G LTE network. 

Isn’t it time you stepped up your home security? Verizon has a new smart home device from Nest that can help—the Nest Cam! Now you can keep an eye on the house even when you’re away from home!

Whether you want the ability to identify intruders, keep a close eye on your children after they arrive home from school or figure out where Fido has been hiding your shoes, the Nest Cam lets you keep an eye on what matters most to you. With the Nest Cam, you can watch live footage of your home in 1080p HD from your mobile device and get alerts whenever motion or sound is detected. You can even hear what’s going on in the room and have a full conversation with individuals on the other end using the Nest App.

Installation is simple and takes less than 60 seconds – seeing is believing. Visit your local Verizon retailer to learn more about the Nest Cam and how it works.

Visit Roadtreking.com/vzw for stories about how technology can enhance and improve your life.

Tech News of the Week:

Cord cutters dumping cable: New screens are getting their loyalty

Video games and aggressive behaviorPsychologists label it a “risk factor”

Amazon disputes accuracy of NYT storyJeff Bezos says his company isn’t nearty as bad as the New York Times says.

Online Learning – Free Trial for PC Mike Listeners

I get asked a lot about finding online courses for learning how to use photography software such as Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom CC, which are both on my recently updated list of tech gear. I talk about how I benefited from taking online courses as well as a special deal available only to PC Mike Techcast listeners at pcmike.com/lynda, where you can even try it free for 10 days and see if online learning works as well for you as it has for me. By the way, they have more than 3,300 courses to pick from – including more than 100,000 video tutorials – in subjects ranging from photography, video and audio to graphic design and web development. With Lynda, you can get:

– Unlimited access to all 3,314 courses – more than 100,000 video tutorials
– Learn new software and stay up to date

Listeners of the PC Mike podcast can get a free 10-day trial. Try any course. Start your trial now and see what you can learn. Just go to https://pcmike.com/lynda to get the free 10 day trial.


App of the Week: Battery saving apps for your smartphone

Apps to improve the battery life of your smartphone https://pcmike.com/apps-to-improve-smartphone-battery-life/

Main Topic: Ransomware shuts down WAKV Radio Station

We interview Jm Higgs, owner of radio station WAKV, whose entire radio station was shut down after ransomware thieves digitally locked him out of the computer that runs the programming.

Here’s a link to a news story about the heist – http://woodtv.com/2015/01/19/ransomware-shuts-down-am-radio-station/

Digitaltrends report on Ransomware – http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/what-is-ransomware-and-should-you-be-worried-about-it/

Microsoft’s Ransomware report – https://www.microsoft.com/security/portal/mmpc/shared/ransomware.aspx

Norton’s report on Ransomware – http://us.norton.com/ransomware/article

We Need Your Help!

As we begin a new podcast like this, it’s very important to get a bunch of reviews to be able to show well in the iTunes listings. So if you can, I’d sure appreciate it if you’d subscribe and leave me your rating and review.

Here’s how:

First, open up the iTunes app on your computer or mobile device. Click on Podcasts on top
> From the iTunes Podcasts page, use the “Search Store” field up at the top right corner of the page. Type in PC Mike Techcast under the Podcasts category.
> Click on the logo image of the PC Mike Techcast on the search return page
> From there, you can:

1) Subscribe

2) Choose and Click on a star (1-5) that reflects your rating. Five stars means you really like it, one star not so much.

3) Leave a written review.

Thanks to all for the kind reviews we’ve received so far. I read and appreciate every review! If you haven’t left a review please do so. I will be so grateful!

And remember, you can appear in future episodes. Ask a question or voice your comments by clicking the Leave Voicemail tab on the right side of this page here at pcmike.com. You can then use the microphone on your computer to record your question.

Thank you!



Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the Roadtreking.com RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.