Aggressive new virus invades computers

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You may believe you're safe at home, but if you're using a computer, danger is lurking.

Several new and more treacherous computer viruses are spreading. Perhaps the worst is CryptoLocker, an aggressive type of computer virus known as ransomware. If your computer is infected with CryptoLocker, your regular desktop screen will be replaced by the warning "Your personal files are encrypted!" You will be instructed to pay a ransom to get a key to unlock your files. CryptoLocker is not a hoax or an idle threat. It actually will make your files inaccessible.

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Security firm Centerlogic says CryptoLocker typically enters a computer as part of an email attachment, usually a PDF or ZIP file. CryptoLocker is unleashed when you click the attachment to try to open it.

The take-away: Never click an email attachment unless you are certain of the sender. And make sure you have an anti-virus program that also checks your incoming email.

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