Bye bye, CrashPlan

CrashPlan is ditching their Home customers. And, beware the bad malware in Firefox, Chrome, and FB Messenger.

CrashPlan approaching end of life

Are you a CrashPlan for Home customer? CrashPlan for Home was a nice way to backup your important files off-site.

I say “was” because CrashPlan for Home is nearing the end of its life.

On Aug. 22, Code42 announced that they will be exiting the consumer market. They’re not selling new subscriptions, but they will honour your current subscription and tack on two more months at no cost.

You have options, but you need to act now.

Code42 is offering deep discounts on its CrashPlan for Small Business. If you trust them not to abandon that market in the foreseeable future, you can take advantage of that discount to transition to the Small Business product.

If you don’t want to pay $10/month for that service, check out Carbonite. Code42 customers will also enjoy reduced rates from Carbonite. (If you’re already a Carbonite subscriber, apparently they’re not going to offer you a loyalty reward. But it sometimes pays to ask them.)

Learn more about CrashPlan here. Info on Carbonite is here. Carbonite welcomes CrashPlan Home customers and offers a 50 per cent discount here.

You have more alternatives. This article from GuidingTech presents a few.

HoeflerText scam loads up your computer with terrible malware

People using the Firefox and Google Chrome browsers are being clobbered with messages encouraging them to download a missing font called HoeflerText.

If you click through to the download link, your computer will become infected with, among other things, a new variant of the Locky ransomware. Your files will be encrypted and you won’t get them back without paying ransom. (And probably not even then, according to some people whose computer have been hit with this.)

If you see a message in your browser about a missing font, don’t click on it, don’t download anything, just leave that website at once.

An interesting, but technical, discussion of the attack is here. But what you need to know is:

  • Keep your antivirus and anti-malware products up to date
  • Protect yourself from ransomware with an anti-ransomware product like the paid version of Malwarebytes or Bitdefender, or Avast antivirus. Or with a standalone product like CryptoPrevent
  • Do not click on links to download missing fonts. Just. Do. Not. Click.

Facebook Messenger video link scam is bad, bad, bad

Most of us already know not to click on links from people we don’t know. But the latest Facebook Messenger scam invites you to click on a link purporting to be from someone you do know.

If you do that, your computer or phone is going to give you a high dose of spammy ads, try to steal your banking information, and — worse yet — steal your Facebook/Messenger login and passwords, pose as you, and try to infect your friends.

It starts when you receive a message that just says Video, your friend’s name, and includes a link. Chrome users who click on the link are directed to a fake YouTube site, while Firefox users are directed to a site telling them to download (a fake version) of Adobe Flash Player.

Do not click on those links, even though the message looks like it came from your friend. You won’t like what happens, and neither will your friends when those messages appear to be coming from you.

Let’s be careful out there.

Do you need help with your computer? I'm here to help you and your home or business computer get along. Cate also welcomes your comments and suggestions. Send email to [email protected].


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About the Author

The Technology Shaman, Cate Eales, has been helping people make online computing safe, accessible, and fun for over 30 years.

Cate lives in Kelowna with her husband, Eric. She owns and operates Computer Care Kelowna, a mobile computer business providing on-site service for home and small business customers.

Cate is here to help you and your home or business computer get along.

E-mail Cate at [email protected] with comments, suggestions, or questions.

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