Category Archives: Community Stuff

Having breakfast on the beautiful deck at the Beauport Hotel

On Sunday Rick and I took our company to the Beauport Hotel for breakfast. Sitting outside and looking at the view could have sat there all day. The buffet breakfast was outstanding. Great morning.

Bikes for rent at the Beauport Hotel

Schooner Adventure sailing by

The Beauport from the Boulevard

IMPORTANT NEWS TO PREVENT RANSOMWARE

There is currently a lot of media attention regarding a particularly nasty form of computer viruses or Malware known as Ransomware. Strictly speaking, it is not a virus in that it does not break into your computer on its own … it tricks you into allowing it in using social engineering. It then uses features of your operating system to encrypt your documents, pictures, music and other data. You then get a rather rude message demanding payment for the key to return your data to a usable state.

Ransomware has been around for a few years now. The current furor over the use of stolen NSA “tools” is about how the thing spread so fast … not the basic concept of holding the encryption key hostage for payment. There is nothing wrong with encrypting portions of your data. It is a preferred way of ensuring privacy so that only those with the authorized keys are allowed access. In fact, it is a requirement of much legal, medical and government communication. The crime here is to do it to someone else’s data and then hold them up for the key to decipher the data.

The only thing you can do to PREVENT getting the Ransomware type of Malware is to be careful what you open (attachments). Use common sense … UPS and FEDEX state that they DO NOT send you attachments about shipments. Basically, beware of ZIP attachments as this is the most common infection vector. Attached PDF files about invoices and overdue payment demands should also be avoided. If you really owe somebody money and they want it bad enough, eventually they will pick up the phone and call you. The IRS never sends you an e-mail demanding payment or Credit Card information. Banks never ask you for your password or PIN. Never follow a link to reset a password … log into the site directly and go into your account management to make any changes. If in doubt, call the institution using a known good number … not something supplied by an e-mail. Another common tactic is to send out a blind message implying that your mail account is overfull and you have to make some change to it or re-establish your account. Most likely you don’t even have any such account. But if you log in to do what they requested, chances are you are going to use the same password as some of your legitimated accounts or the same PIN. They then use that information to try to hack your other accounts.

To protect your data, use a good cloud-based backup system that does versioning. We recommend and use CrashPlan by Code42. There are personal, family and business plans available. Each time a file is opened and then closed it is backed up. This way you can retrieve a copy from the last hour, day, week, etc. until you get the desired result. If your data has become corrupted and the bad files now backed up, you simply go back to the day BEFORE the infection and get the version to restore. Carbonite is another such online backup plan. We have used both and while we prefer the interface to CrashPlan, they both work well.

If your system should get infected, it will have to be rebuilt anyway. That can always be done if you have copies of all of your programs … it is the DATA that makes your system unique. Using Acronis or another disk imaging product will get the system up to a usable condition faster and then the restored data is applied over that. We have done this several times for our customers in the past. It is aggravating … but it works. We will be glad to help anyone who has further questions.

A common rule of thumb is that if seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t. Same holds true that if it seems too BAD to be true, it could well be a scam. In today’s world of “IoT” (Internet of Things), the more skeptical you are, the better.

That … and backups, Backups, BACKUPS …

Sadie Green’s

When at Walgreens at the Corner of Main and Rogers, take a stroll over to Sadie Green’s. Great gifts and the store is having a sale of 20% off. Here a a couple of photos of their inventory.

We are very lucky to have great shops to pick up gifts. No need to go up the line.

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Sadie’s Green’s Curiosity Shop
205 Main Street
Gloucester, MA 01930
978-281-8111
http://www.sadiegreens.com

Tulip Festival awesome

Donna Ardizzoni / Circle Consulting Group 978-526-9222

Sunday’s Spring Market at the Magnolia Library

Here is a list of participating vendors at this fun event. Hope to see you all there. Thank you.

Sara McDermott Sunniest Side Up- Note Cards
Sharon Lowe Photography
Carolyn Gurrisi- Paparazzi Accessories
Lauren Negron Cape Ann Olive Oil
Jillian Shamberger JBombs Bath Luxuries
John Theo Author
Emma Sanders Hand painted Notecards
Sara Adams Memory Quilts
Amy Plummer Watercolor cards and gifts
Wendy Antrim Trendy Wendy’s Fashions
Haley Allison Bare Cheek Beauty
Donna Ardizzoni Photography
Diana Whitten/
Karen Pischke Gloucester Tease
Dreamtime Wellness
Top Dog Nutrition
Melissa Cox Hand Crafted Soaps
Jessica Biker Knitting and hand made bags
Diane B Saunders Lularoe Rep
Heather O DiFonzo Wine Tasting
Judy Gillis and Betty Cannon Magnolia Historical Society
Susan O’Leary SassyEcoBags
Julie Geary Classic Cooks
Rosandra Olivio PUREhaven
Bob Marshall Marshalls Farmstand
Erin Pequeno Stone Design and Face painting
Lindsay Marshall Angies Alpacas
Lara Jardullo Visual Interest headbands and fascinators
Jen Holmgren City Council Candidate

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