Going on the advice of a friend, I decided last night to introduce myself to shareazaa.com - a site for exchanging mp3s and other music forms P2P. So I went to what I thought was the appropriate site and downloaded the software and installed it on my beautiful 6-month old laptop.
What I ended up installing instead is what I can only now consider the most heinous virus I have ever seen.
Gone now are all my images and photos that were stored in a folder. Gone now is everything I have ever written, my resume, and the book I was working on. Gone now are all the sites I had bookmarked. Gone now are all the tunes I had downloaded for my iPod. Empty is my iTunes folder (when I open iTunes, there are no songs listed in the directory). Each time my laptop shuts down, it resets itself so I can't maintain a homepage and all my passwords need to be re-entered.
I have run my Norton to no avail. It tells me I have viruses, but it doesn't tell me how to quarantine, repair or even delete them. Each time my computer reboots, it tells me something about my security settings and how something is no longer readable (I cry a little each time).
With only myself to blame, I am not sure what to do or where to go (and November began so promisingly).