I and two work colleagues have been hit by a severe-graded computer virus in the last 24 hours (I am not in email communication with either of them, but all my emails will be going via my uninfected desktop computer until the problem has been resolved).
This virus comes via an email attachment, and then attaches and replicates itself throughout your Word documents.
It will do any or all of the following:
- Cause your anti-virus software to repeatedly block the same threat.
- Cause Word documents to open without your consent, especially those with passwords.
- Attach itself as a rogue file on your memory sticks.
- Repeatedly close your Internet browser.
- Block any attempts to access ANYTHING to do with viruses online. It will block access to your anti-virus provider's site and Google searches.
I have tried deleting all my Word documents, but it will not allow them to be deleted. I have been able to delete the rogue file - called Recyclers - on my memory sticks and scanned them with anti-virus software.
However, I have run a full scan on my laptop and no viruses were detected. Clearly, there is one there.
If you are confident you do not have the virus, I suggest doing the following:
- Create a Restore Point for today's date.
- Keep one memory stick with your files saved until that date and don't use it until your anti-virus provider has found a solution and updated your software.
- Email a copy of all your Word files to an online email service, such as Hotmail or gmail. Should the worse happen, you can access your writing via another computer.
As my laptop is nearly three years old and I had to pay for a new hard drive last year, I have decided it is not worth the expense of repairing it. But I'm sure there are plenty of you with fairly new laptops/computers who don't want to be paying for a repair or lose their priceless writing.
Do not open any attachments unless you are 100% confident they are safe.