Maybe you’ve heard about Cryptolocker or other types of “ransomware”. Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware) that infects a computer and restricts access to it until a ransom is paid to unlock it.
Please, do NOT follow unsolicited web links in email. Take regular backups of your data and keep an offline backup. Cryptolocker can infect your internal hard drive, your backup drive, and any drives connected to your network. The only truly safe behavior is to UNPLUG your backup drive so it’s not even connected. Your choice is to either connect your drive when you want to run a backup, or have two drives and switch them regularly. That way, you may only lose your data since the last switch.
Read all about ransomware from the US-CERT (United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team). https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA14-295A
Let’s be careful out there!