There is a new piece of nastiness going around right now called CryptoLocker that impacts Windows users. If you infect yourself, either by clicking a link in a phishing email or by visiting a site with the exploit, then all of your drives are scanned and data files are encrypted. Once they are encrypted, you can’t access them without the encryption key, which you have to pay the criminals to get.
This includes files on your physical hard drive or mapped network drives. Remember, syncing services like DropBox or Skydrive typically store files on your physical hard drive, so they would be encrypted in the event of an infection.
That may or may not be an issue for you. If it is, you can turn it off by going here, unchecking the box at the bottom, and hitting Save.
I’ve spent the vast majority of my adult, working life (20+ years at the time of this writing) in higher education. Currently I work at both Wake Forest University and Forsyth Technical Community College. One constant during that time is the charge by the faculty that the students don’t/won’t behave appropriately during class.
Recently an article came across my RSS feeds that spoke to this. I think it has value and wanted to share it. I encourage anyone who is taking, or plans to take, a class to read it. Despite the masculine slant to the title, ladies, it applies to you too. Professors, I also encourage you to read and think about your behavior when you are in the classes/trainings that you take.