How to Protect Yourself From Hackers

Hackers are using ransomware to access computers and hold your files hostage.
1:32 | 02/19/16

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Transcript for How to Protect Yourself From Hackers
Back now with a big security scare and new warning after that Los Angeles hospital just paid $17,000 for critical medical records held hostage by hackers. You could become a target too. ABC's gio Benitez explains. It didn't occur to me one little bit it was a scam at the time. Reporter: Brandi browsing on her computer at home hit by ransomware. She paid 300 bucks to get her data back. Now this week Lockie is spreading worldwide. Yesterday alone we saw over 10 million messages go out that had the Lockie ransomware virus. Reporter: It can be spread through a simple e-mail message just like this. Just look. This is actual ransomware disguised as a word document. You just click it and, boom, you're infected. There's no going back. Then you'll receive this chilling message that your files are encrypted and you'll be told how to pay the ransom and get your files back. But the threat of ransomware now goes beyond personal data. Lockie is just the tip of the iceberg and has the power to shut whole companies down, service operations that they can't do the financial transactions that are required. Health care operation, they can't deliver health care. Reporter: How can you protect yourself? Well, experts say don't click on suspicious links or attachments from people you don't know or even attachments you're not expecting and back up all of your data to an external hard drive keeping it unplugged and finally make sure sure computer has updated anti-virus software. By the way, a Tennessee school district was hit with a ransomware attack. All of their data held hostage but it turns out they have not paid the hacker because they actually backed up all of that data so that's that tip again. Back up, back up, back up. Huge. All right. Gio, thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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