You probably haven’t heard of Cryptolocker yet however its something you should take care to avoid. If your like the majority of people, you store a lot of files and photos on your computer. Cryptolocker is a rather nasty example of what’s become known as Ransom-ware.
Ransom-ware attempts to extort money from you by displaying threatening messages, it may even lock you out of your computer until you pay them money. Ransom-ware, in the most part does not really damage your files and is fairly easy to remove without resorting to paying them, Crpytolocker is a different beast though. It encrypts all your data (which may take a few days to run through) on your computer and also on any networked drives that may be attached. The encryption is essentially game over for your data, there is currently no known method of retrieving it and even paying them probably wont help.
The best way to avoid losing your data is of course to backup your data. Back it up to an external hard drive, keep it disconnected for your computer when your not backing up. You should also keep your anti-virus up to date. If you don’t have an up to date anti-virus program installed we recommend you install either Microsoft Security Essentials if your computer is quite old or Avast if its relatively new.