On Christmas Day 2013 around noon, my computer screen was filled with a warning and a demand for $300. I was informed that my files had been encrypted and that they would be destroyed by Dec. 28 unless I made a payment. Directions were given as to how this payment should be made.
I contacted a computer professional who cleared the screen and the virus out of my system. We both believed that this would solve the problem. However, on Dec. 29, I found that all my files were corrupted and could not be used.
I am talking about losing several years of work along with a library of pictures. My error was not to store this work in a separate location, a lesson that I will certainly observe in the future. My friendly suggestion to my friends and colleagues is simple -- store whatever you feel important.
Hilton Head Island