"FBI Virus" hitting several computers in the Chippewa Valley

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EAU CLAIRE, WIS. (WEAU) -- Alicia Shartrand and McKenna Johnson rely on their computers from sun up, to sun down.

"All my homework is online, you do it online, check it online, submit it online," Shartrand said.

But on Thursday, they are hearing about what is being called the FBI Virus for the first time.

It acts as an FBI website, saying you downloaded music illegally or have child porn on your computer.

"Obviously you don't have to worry about it because you know what you have been doing on your computer," said Todd Welch, co-owner of TC-Teks Computers in Eau Claire.

He says at his store, FBI Virus is becoming a daily word.

"Every other computer we have been seeing has had the FBI virus for about the last month," he added.

He says the virus locks out your computer and is tough to get rid of. The virus demands a ransom of $100 to $300 to fix the problem. But he says, there is mostly one solution.

"For the most part with this one we've been doing reloads of the computer," he added.

That means re-installing Windows. Luckily, he says, your files can still be salvaged.

As for protecting yourself, he says there is not a lot you can do, since you can get the virus by visiting infected websites. But an anti-virus program is a good start.

"It can help a lot but nothing is 100%," Welch added.

It's something Zack Plein knows a lot about. His dad, who works in computer security, makes sure Zack's anti-virus program is up to date and is vigilant about threats.

"I call him just because I wanna make sure it's not updating some kind of scam or something," Plein said.

A big step in the right direction, fighting back against the net's threats.

Welch recommends Kaspersky, Norton Anti Virus, and AVG Anti Virus

He says it is important to back files up regularly if a computer were to crash or get a virus. He also says to cautious about attachments that come in e-mails or Facebook messages.

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