Is your organization prepared for ransomware attacks?

QBS Information Technology


By now, you probably have heard that since late last week, a ransomware virus has been sweeping across the world. #Ransomware is when malicious code encrypts some or all of the files located on your PC and network. The ones responsible for the ransomware direct affected user through a pop-up window to send payment to them in the form of usually-untraceable digital currency knows as Bitcoins. Each Bitcoin is equal to $1,805 and the demand is usually at least five Bitcoins. Once the ransom is paid, a decryption code is sent that is supposed to unlock the files. Often, the victim receives nothing in return.

This strain of ransomware is known as WannaCry, but in order to avoid that feeling, all you need to do is follow some simple guidelines:

  1. If you receive an email with a link, don’t automatically click on it. Instead, move your mouse cursor over the link and the real address for the link should appear. Try it with this link – If the address that appears in the pop-up doesn’t match the domain in the text, don’t click on it. 
  2. Not every message that appears to be sent from someone is actually a result of their effort. If you receive an attachment in an email that you are not expecting, do not open it. Remember that many forms of malware are sent using the email addresses of people who have you in their contacts list. A good rule of thumb is to suspect any message with an attachment that you were not expecting to receive. 
  3. Resist the urge to click on ads and pop-ups that appear when you are using a browser. Many websites are easily hacked and often get planted with malicious code that can be brought down into a PC through clicking.

Need more help? Please call our IT Services Division at 410-337-3700 or email us at for more information on our products and services.

Doing Business With Your PC

QBS Information Technology


When searching for a reliable PC or laptop (referred to hereon as just PCs), the business consumer is peppered with online and print ads touting attractive prices for sleek new machines. However, as has been proven time and again with countless products, it’s what’s inside that counts. Without a thorough knowledge of computer specifications, the purchase of a machine that will prove to be not what was needed is highly likely. There are PCs made for business use and PCs made for home use. Let’s go over some basics.

Business-use PCs, available through resellers like QBS, are designed to accommodate more frequent use and are equipped with components that stand up well to multi-tasking. Their operating systems (Professional, Ultimate or Enterprise) are the versions that supports company technologies like domain membership, remote access and enhanced data security. Warranties are often for three or more years. Business-use PCs tend to have beefy processors, right-sized RAM and power supplies and hard drives meant for the constant demands of business. Business-use PCs are customizable through the reseller or computer manufacturer.

Home-use PCs, available through most walk-in retail outlets and online consumer sites, are designed for occasional use and come pre-installed with the Home version of the operating system, many “beneficial” programs like games, photo and music management utilities, and PC maintenance applications (which usually just take up needed memory and hard disk space). Home-use PCs usually are equipped with weaker and slower processors, an overabundance of RAM (for basic users) and hard disks that would take a lifetime to fill. At face value, the extra programs, large amounts of RAM and hard disk space may seem attractive, but left unused, it’s often a waste of hard disk space and money. Home-use PCs are usually configured in mass quantities and sold with few options.

The bottom line is that a business-use PC is made to last longer and support more demanding programs and usage. Additionally, replacement parts for business-use PCs are more readily available. It’s for these reasons that business-use PCs are more costly than home-use PCs. The best way to avoid any confusion when considering a PC purchase is to call QBS. A short conversation with them will leave you with a clearer vision of the right PC for your business.