gibberish in html files

I saved a file with a .asp extension, using Visual Studio 2013.  When i opened the file the next day, all of the non-alphanumeric characters were replaced by strings of characters starting with + and ending with -. For example, <%" was replaced by +ADwAJQBA-.  
+ACM- seems to be the replacement for !
+ADwAIQ- seems to replace <

so combinations of characters get different replacements than single characters.

Two questions:

1. how do i restore my file?
2. how do i prevent this from happening again?

TIA
DilettantesKeepAsked:
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Alexandre SimõesManager / Technology SpecialistCommented:
Apparently you're not alone. Searching on Google I found some other websites with the same problem (http://www.christianrevivalcentre.org/aboutthepastor.aspx) but I have no explanation for what happened there.
Chances are that you had some encoding issues but which I don't know.

I'll keep an eye on this thread :)

Cheers
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
.asp isn't html and the converse is also true.. was it in fact an .asp file that now has been turned into gibberish?
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DilettantesKeepAuthor Commented:
Yes it was really an ASP file.  I found over thirty different +Axxxx- values, and by comparing to a similar file (that i opened in WordPad in case VS is the problem) was able to search and replace to get my original file working. But now I make a backup first and cross my fingers whenever i open files in VS2013.

I too saw other examples of this problem, some were in html emails. I did not look on any malware solution sites, perhaps that is my mission the next time this happens.
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Scott Fell, EE MVEDeveloper & EE ModeratorCommented:
I was thinking this was a code page issue although never seen it.  But looking at msdn https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd565635(v=vs.85).aspx

The very top of your classic asp page should be
<%@LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="65001"%>

Open in new window

Then add the html code page info
<meta http-equiv="Content-type" content="text/html; charset=utf-8">

Open in new window

OR
Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

Open in new window

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DilettantesKeepAuthor Commented:
Thank you Scott, that certainly looks like the answer - I'll make sure to put that in my pages. The MSDN article seems to be right on topic.
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DilettantesKeepAuthor Commented:
Speedy accurate resolution to my problem - many thanks!
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