top of page

When in Doubt, Call Todd

You call your friend Todd, who you know works in IT for the local utility. “Todd, I’ve been hit by ransomware.”


“First off, don’t panic,” Todd tells you. Todd was always calm, even in a crisis.


“You need to change every password that you have out there. Use a different one for each site. Make them long and complicated. If you save the passwords in your web browser, you won’t need to remember them. Do it from your phone and do it right away.”


“Why can’t I just use the same password for all of them?”, you ask.


“If a hacker breaks one of your accounts, they have them all,” Todd responds. “You don’t want that!”


It takes you a few hours to make all the changes, but you get it done. Luckily you had been saving your passwords in your web browser, Google Chrome. You could see all of the sites, and go through them one-by-one to set new passwords.


You call Todd back and he recommends a local computer repair shop who can fix your laptop. You drive down there.


The shop is cluttered, humming with the sound of spinning hard drives and the scent of a soldering iron. The IT specialist, a middle-aged woman named Deb with a keen eye and confident demeanor, listens to your story and gives a nod. "I've seen this before."


Since all of your files are backed up, I can just restore your laptop to factory settings. Your data will be gone, but you can get it from your backups. I can have it back to you in about 30 minutes for $100.”


A wave of relief washes over you. Your trust in humanity, temporarily shattered by the faceless cybercriminals, is restored by the kindness and skill of this IT expert.


"Before I do that, I’m going to take a snapshot of your machine so we can send it to the FBI. That will help prevent future crimes like this. Are you comfortable doing that and reporting this to the FBI?," asks Deb. 

bottom of page