I’ll get right to the point on this one. I’ve just listened to a podcast about a woman whose computer files (over 5000 of them) were locked and she had to pay $500 to ransom them.
Yes, there are cybercriminals who can remotely take over your computer, lock your files, and demand payment before you can access any of your files. The podcast is entitled “Darkode” and can be found here: http://www.radiolab.org/series/podcasts/. Everyone who owns a computer should listen to this horror story.
What is Darkode? According to Wikipedia, Darkode (also Dark0de) is “a cybercrime forum and black marketplace described by Europol as “the most prolific English-speaking cybercriminal forum to date”. The site, which launched in 2007, serves as a venue for sale and trade of hacking services, botnets, malware, and other illicit goods and services.” The full entry can be seen here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark0de
I’ve decided it’s a really good idea to buy an external hard drive and back everything up. It has to be cheaper than paying a ransom.
Have a nice day!