Gloucestershire Police are warning people to guard their computers against cyber attack in the wake of a Government alert issued by the UK’s National Crime Agency.

Following the US charging a man with cybercrime, the Agency is saying people probably have "two weeks" before international criminals get a so-called ‘botnet’ of hi-jacked computers functioning again.

The Agency has posted advice on how best to protect computers. - a Government-backed initiative - has a list of downloads it recommends to run a sweep of your system.

Recommendations are:

• Install internet security software from companies listed on Get Safe Online's Facebook and Google+ profiles, to download a free tool to scan for Gameover Zeus and CryptoLocker, and remove them from your computer

• Do not open attachments in emails unless you are 100% certain that they are authentic

• Make sure your internet security software is fully up-to-date and switched on at all times

• Ensure your Windows operating system has the latest Microsoft updates applied

• Ensure your software programs have the latest manufacturers' updates applied

• Ensure all of your files including documents, photos, music and bookmarks are backed up and readily available in case you can no longer access them on your computer

• Never store passwords on your computer in case they are accessed by Gameover Zeus or another aggressive malware program.

Advice is also available at and Background to the international scare is on the BBC website at