There is a new ransom virus threat out there that is beyond serious. It's called CryptoLocker.
If you get it, the virus encrypts all of your documents, pictures, PDF and Excel files with two encryption keys. To unlock or un-encrypt your personal files, you must pay them $450 within 48 hours, or they delete the encryption key on your computer. Then the files are totally lost FOREVER.
Even if you fork over the ransom $450, you won't get your files back. There is no fix for this. It's almost impossible to unencrypt these files, and the other encryption key is on their computer server. Good luck trying to get that, even if you bought a ticket to China!
So what can you do to prevent CryptoLocker?
Here is a list of things to do, which can be a little complicated for the average user. If you need any help, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Uli at Maui Tech Gurus at 661-1000.
This is extremely important, especially for business owners who could lose all of their important data.
First, you must enable System Restore. Second, go online at malwarebytes.com, and for $29, buy Malwarebytes Pro and install it.
Third, try to sign up for a cloud backup service like Skydrive, Carbonite, Barracuda or Norton Online Backup to automatically back up your files.
Or, you can buy a Seagate Plus one-terabyte external USB hard drive for $57 at Costco that will back up your hard drive.
If you get hit with this, computer techs might be able to save some data. It would require you to bring your computer into a shop. Just be careful opening e-mail attachments, Facebook, free music websites, and gambling and gaming websites.
This virus will probably get replicates from other hackers trying to make money off of you. Be careful!