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**In the spirit of full disclosure, I want to mention that I received a free copy of WebRoot AntiVirus to evaluate, if it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t write it.
I’m not generally one to get all alarmist about computer security stuff. I don’t want to scare people in to buying a product but today I’m going to do just that. And I’ll even preface this by saying I don’t even care if you get WebRoot. Of course getting WebRoot would be a great idea; it is a superb product. But we’ll talk about that after I scare you.
I’m gonna talk about the Cryptolocker ransomware virus. This virus, once it infects your computer, searches out all the documents, pictures, spreadsheets, AutoCAD drawings and a few others and encrypts them, This means that you cannot open them. It encrypts them with something called 2048-bit RSA encryption which, at this point, is unbreakable and will remain as such for a long time. Once they have successfully stopped you from accessing your personal files and family photos, they pop up a message asking for money. If you pay them then you get your files unencrypted. If you don’t pay them they offer you one more chance to unencrypt them at a much higher price. If you still don’t comply they delete the key and the files are gone forever. The numbers I’ve heard are 72 hours and $300 but I’m not sure exactly.
If you have Cryptolocker and your files are encrypted, you’re toast. Sorry for your loss. If you have Cryptolocker and it hasn’t encrypted your files or you don’t have it yet, you need to get an antivirus program to stop it. My suggestion? WebRoot. I’ve been playing around with it and it is great. The software itself is very good and scored 100% on part of a recent MRG Effitas test. The real value in WebRoot is its community. It has a very active community and any question you have has probably already been answered in the forums. It’s great. And it’s all yours for free for 14 days. You don’t even need a credit card for the trial.
I haven’t bought (or regularly used) an anti-virus program in over a decade. I’ve been using a free AntiVirus on my wife’s computer and on the few occasions I used one of mine, it was a free one. I have the free copy WebRoot game to me on my computer right now and I will be picking up a copy of this to put on my wife’s computer. It is a fantastic product.