We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.

croom new

Preferred Blog

Preferred has been serving the Tinley Park area since 1991, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

Careful! There’s an Infected Version of WhatsApp Out There

Careful! There’s an Infected Version of WhatsApp Out There

WhatsApp is one of the world’s most popular messaging applications. With over 2 billion users, WhatsApp is known for its relative security, as it is one of the few messaging applications that offers end-to-end encryption. A modified version of WhatsApp, called YoWhatsApp, has been reportedly deploying malware.

0 Comments
Continue reading

“No More Ransom” is Leading the Fight Against Ransomware Abroad

“No More Ransom” is Leading the Fight Against Ransomware Abroad

Ransomware is one of the more dangerous threats out there today, and since it is so prominent and dangerous, it is a popular choice amongst hackers. To combat this threat, a community has formed around the cause, encouraging users to not pay the ransom by providing free malware removal tools for the most popular ransomware threats.

0 Comments
Continue reading

It’s Time to Fight Malware with AI

It’s Time to Fight Malware with AI

This past year saw a dangerous 86% increase in the most dangerous types of malware out there, so we want to ask you an important question: are you ready to protect your business from the different types of threats you might encounter? We know a technology solution that might help this mission along, and we want to share it with you today: artificial intelligence.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Cybercriminals Are Among Your Biggest Competition

Cybercriminals Are Among Your Biggest Competition

When we think about cybersecurity, we usually think about protecting our computers from viruses, right?

I’d imagine a few of our older readers remember a time when you would go to the store and buy antivirus software that came in a big brightly-colored box with a CD in it each year.

As you probably already know, things aren’t as simple anymore.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Turns Out There is a Trend for Cyberattacks Over Holiday Breaks and Weekends

Turns Out There is a Trend for Cyberattacks Over Holiday Breaks and Weekends

There are countless cybersecurity threats out there, many of which wait until very unfortunate times to strike. One such time is over extended weekends or holiday breaks, when many companies shut down operations longer than the usual two-day weekend. In fact, this is such an issue that the Federal Bureau of Investigation and CISA have issued warnings in response to them.

0 Comments
Continue reading

ALERT: Update Your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac NOW.

ALERT: Update Your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and Mac NOW.

If you use almost any Apple products, you’ll want to check for and apply an update that will prevent your devices from being spied on. Apple has just issued an emergency software update for a critical vulnerability that was recently discovered.

The new updates were pushed out on Monday, September 13th, 2021, and include a major security fix for the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad, Apple Watch, and Apple Mac computers and laptops.

0 Comments
Continue reading

New Study Finds That Paying Off Your Ransomware Attackers Has Some Severe Consequences

New Study Finds That Paying Off Your Ransomware Attackers Has Some Severe Consequences

We know, we know; you’re probably sick of seeing ransomware in headlines, and so are we, but we cannot stress enough how important having an awareness of it is for any business owner. A new study has found that businesses infected by ransomware who choose to pay up experience a different type of fallout--one that is a major cause for concern and a stark reminder that there are no guarantees with ransomware. Ever.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Your Guide to the Modern Varieties of Cybercriminal

Your Guide to the Modern Varieties of Cybercriminal

There is an entire litany of stereotypes that are commonly linked to the term “hacker”… too many for us to dig into here, especially since they do little but form a caricature of just one form that today’s cybercriminal can take. Let’s go into the different varieties that are covered nowadays under the blanket term of “hacker,” and the threat that each pose to businesses today.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Tip of the Week: Spotting Potential Mobile Malware

Tip of the Week: Spotting Potential Mobile Malware

Chances are, you not only have a smartphone, but that smartphone is also currently within arm’s reach. With these devices playing an increasingly important role in our personal and professional lives, these devices have proven to be a lucrative target for hackers to pursue. This week, our tip is meant to help you spot the warning signs that an application is hiding an attack.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Hit Back Hard Against Malware

Hit Back Hard Against Malware

The threat landscape is filled with more types of malware than ever. To keep your business’ network running effectively, it’s important to have a strategy to keep malware out. Today, we’ll talk about a few basics you should know to keep your cybersecurity strategy working properly.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

Smartphone Malware Is a Serious Threat

We all know how important it is to protect your desktop and laptop computers from malicious threats. Installing antivirus and security software is one of the first steps you take when you get a new computer, and for good reason. An unprotected device is at great risk. With that said, a lot of users don’t think about the threats that target their most-used devices, their smartphones.

0 Comments
Continue reading

65 Bitcoin Ransom Paid by Florida City

65 Bitcoin Ransom Paid by Florida City

65 of any currency doesn’t seem like a lot of money, but when you are dealing in the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, it adds up quick. One city on Florida’s Atlantic coast is finding that out the hard way after getting hit with a ransomware that stymied the city of 35,000 government’s ability to function. Let’s take a look at the situation that made the city’s leaders agree to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to scammers.

0 Comments
Continue reading

The SamSam Ransomware Is Absolutely No Joke

The SamSam Ransomware Is Absolutely No Joke

The funny thing about ransomware is that they give them very strange names: Bad Rabbit sounds like the name of a villainous bunny who gets his comeuppance in some type of modern nursery rhyme, not malware that would ravage hundreds of European businesses. Locky seems like the son of Candado de seguridad, a character Medeco would come up with to educate kids on proper physical security. The latest in a long line of funny-named ransomware, SamSam, isn’t a pet name for your pet ferret you perplexingly named Sam, it is one of the worst ransomware strains ever, and it has caught the attention of U.S. Federal law enforcement.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Here is How Antivirus Keeps a Business Safe

Here is How Antivirus Keeps a Business Safe

A lot is made about antivirus as a part of a comprehensive network security platform, but how does the system really work to eliminate threats? Today, we will take a look at an antivirus solution to show you how it goes about removing unwanted files and other code.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Ransomware: A Look at Today’s Worst Cyberthreat

Ransomware: A Look at Today’s Worst Cyberthreat

There are many types of malware out there, but none that are quite as scary as ransomware. Imagine being struck by a threat that instantaneously locks down your files and keeps you from accessing them until you pay a certain amount of money. If your business is targeted by ransomware, would you be able to protect it from dragging your operations into a bitter pit of despair?


Ransomware is a malicious threat that has the potential to end your company’s operations by eliminating access to critical files. It works by encrypting the files located on your PC, and the only way to get the decryption key is to pay the hackers who infected your computer. In 2015 alone, ransomware cost users over $325 million, which makes it an exceptionally lucrative venture for hackers. Ransomware generally worms its way into your PC through infected email attachments disguised as invoices or statements (i.e. phishing attacks), which means that inexperienced users might accidentally fall for the trick and unknowingly expose their PC to this threat.

Many types of ransomware will try to coerce money out of users through fear. For example, one variant of ransomware will pose as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which might claim that the user illegally downloaded copyrighted material or is in possession of incriminating pornography. Others might claim to be from local law enforcement, demanding that a fine be paid in return your files. Some don’t even bother trying to pose as other parties, and instead will simply make a demand that’s quite difficult to resist: either you pay up, or your files are gone for good.

The most well-known type of ransomware these days is Cryptolocker, which locks down the files on a user’s PC and demands a ransom. This ransom is usually to be paid in Bitcoin through the anonymous web browser, Tor, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, to trace the hackers’ activity back to them. A more recent version of Cryptolocker, Cryptowall, is even more dangerous for businesses, as it allows infected PCs to spread the ransomware throughout the network they’re connected to. This means that the all it takes is for one system to get infected for your entire network to be encrypted and held hostage by hackers. This isn’t a situation you want to be in.

If your files are backed up somewhere, you should be able to eliminate the ransomware by restoring your backup. If your files aren’t backed up, however, you might feel like there’s no choice but to give in. The important thing to remember about ransomware is that you shouldn’t pay the ransom under any circumstances. In the worst case scenario, you could pay the ransom and the encryption key might not work, putting you at a severe disadvantage. This would be no skin of the hacker’s back, after all, they got your money. If you’re ever infected by ransomware, it’s important that you immediately disconnect your PC from the Internet and any network it’s connected to, and to then contact trusted technology professionals. You do have options, and we want to make sure that we’ve tried everything we can to get your files back without giving in to hackers’ demands.

Of course, the best way to keep your systems safe is to make sure that ransomware doesn’t infect your PC in the first place. A quality spam blocking solution can keep potential phishing attacks that harbor ransomware-filled attachments out of your inbox and away from your end users. In general, it’s good to have security measures put in place to minimize the possibility of threats and user errors. Therefore, it’s important that you educate your staff on email best practices, like avoiding phishing scams. Finally, a data backup solution can help save you from the worst-case scenario, in the event you do get infected.

Preferred can help your business take the fight to ransomware. To learn more, give us a call at 708-781-7110.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Looking Back at This Year’s Cybersecurity Issues

Looking Back at This Year’s Cybersecurity Issues

Every business in operation today needs to have some kind of comprehensive network security. Simply put, there are too many threats that can come in through an Internet connection for them to continue doing otherwise. The past year provides plenty of anecdotal proof of this fact, as a quick glance back can show.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Data Security Issues of 2018

Data Security Issues of 2018

Each year there are changes that need to be made in the way that organizations manage their IT security. In 2017, ransomware burst on the scene in full force, and cyber security strategies reacted, coming up with fully managed security platform that remediate issues better, and cost organizations far more than they would have spent on IT security just a short time ago. In 2018, the same problems persist, while other developing technologies threaten the natural order of things. Today, we will look at how cybersecurity is being approached in 2018.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Security Threats and Defensive Measures You Can Take

Security Threats and Defensive Measures You Can Take

Network security for small businesses is far from simple. There are countless threats out there that want to see your business fall, and it only takes one to see this come to fruition. Unless you take action now to protect your organization, you risk the future of your business. But what is it that businesses need to protect from, and what measures are out there that can accomplish this feat?

0 Comments
Continue reading

Reexamining Meltdown and Spectre

Reexamining Meltdown and Spectre

It’s been about a year and a half since the Meltdown and Spectre exploits became publicly known. While patches and updates were administered to reduce their threat, they continue to linger on in a less serious capacity. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the threat has entirely been neutered--you still want to know what these threats do and whether or not you’re safe from them.

0 Comments
Continue reading

A Ransomware Cyberattack Struck Atlanta, Georgia

A Ransomware Cyberattack Struck Atlanta, Georgia

Ransomware doesn’t discriminate with its targets, as the city of Atlanta, Georgia now knows so painfully well. The city became the target of a ransomware attack that crippled many of its critical system workflows. The municipal government suffered from one of the most advanced and sustained attacks in recent memory.

0 Comments
Continue reading

Sign Up for Our Newsletter

  • First Name *
  • Last Name *

      Mobile? Grab this Article!

      Qr Code

      Blog Archive

      Latest Blog Entry

      Even if you lived under a rock, you’ve probably done a Google search or two. There are, in fact, other search engines, each with their own pros and cons. We’re going to compare some of the most popular search engines and talk about what makes them different.

      Latest News

      Preferred is rated Best Places to Work - 3 Consecutive Years!

      Preferred has been named as one of the Best Places to Work in Illinois in 2020, 2021 and 2022. The awards program began in 2006 and is promoted by The Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council and Best Companies Group.