Which Web browser do you use? A lot of you are using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or even the new Microsoft Edge. There's also a good chance you're using Mozilla Firefox. Tens of millions of people use it to search the Web. Even if it's not your everyday, go-to browser, you might occasionally use it for its best features.
US authorities have downplayed a Department of Justice (DoJ) data breach, saying no sensitive data was exposed.
On the weekend of 6-7 February 2016, a hacker or hacker group using the Twitter handle @DotGovs claimed to have downloaded the details of thousands of FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employees from a DoJ database.
We live in an online age, one where malware infections have become commonplace. Some might say this is the price of doing business online. News headlines report damaging attacks on well-known brands with depressing regularity. Consumer confidence suffers as customers look to organizations to sort out the issue, secure their transactions and fix the problem
It wasn't long ago when TV’s most famous fashionista, Carrie Bradshaw, lost her entire novel when her computer suddenly crashed? After years of laboring over her book, all of Carrie’s hard work suddenly vanished in a flash. Even in 2008, Carrie’s friends were utterly dumbfounded when she claimed that she had never heard of data backup. Really, Carrie? She tried to blame everyone in New York for not sharing information about data backup, but the bottom line was that her novel was lost forever.
Why Backing Up Your Data is Important
Unfortunately, Carrie Bradshaw is not entirely alone in her backup negligence. Recent statistics have shown that 30% of all computer users have never backed up their data. That’s an alarming number considering that 29% of all computer disasters are caused by simple accidents. Combine this with the fact that every week 140,000 hard drives crash; every minute 113 smartphones are lost or stolen; and each month 1 in 10 computers becomes overrun with viruses. Disaster can be averted when you have a reliable backup solution in place, because your irreplaceable family photos, critical business files, videos and important financial documents are safely stored elsewhere.
How Does Backup Work?
In the simplest of terms, a backup solution creates a second copy of your data and stores it on another device. When selecting a backup solution, there is a wide array of choices that generally fall into one of two categories: external storage devices or cloud-based services. Within these two very broad categories, there are many backup solutions to choose from depending on the degree of protection and security that is needed.
Friends Don’t Let Friends Go Without a Backup!
Backing up your computer data is such an important responsibility that a worldwide “awareness” day has been created. March 31, 2015 is World Backup Day, so mark your calendar, make a commitment and take the pledge. Make a pact with your friends, family and co-workers and take the backup pledge together on Facebook, Twitter or via the website.
The pledge states: “I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31st.”
Every Day is Backup Day
Nobody wants to become Carrie Bradshaw, the author of a book that entirely vanished because she didn’t have a backup solution! March 31st is the official backup day, but in reality it’s something that should be part of your daily technology strategy.
Computer Troubleshooters can help you understand appropriate protection needs for your data. Call Computer Troubleshooters today and one of their technology professionals can help you establish a reliable backup system for your home or business.
The recent crimes involving the theft of private and personal photos of several celebrities from their Cell Phones has brought personal device security back into the spotlight. In this climate of security challenges and risks, we do our best to keep you informed on how to stay protected.
These were crimes, and don't fall into calling them just a hack, or theft, these were flat out sex crimes. They were perpetrated by an individual who utilized a flaw in the "Find My iPhone" software, using a brute hack tool to crack the password of several celebrities and steal private, compromising images of them, to be put onto the internet. Violations like these are a clear reminder of how careful and diligent we all need to be about security of our data. And before I get into how to protect yourself, please note, WE ARE NOT BLAMING THE VICTIMS. These were flat out sex crimes, total violations of privacy. In our eyes these security breeches and thefts are akin to sexual assault. When identified and caught, this person needs to be prosecuted as a sex offender in our books. That said, there were a couple of things that can be done to protect YOUR data and media from being at maximum risk.
Use the security features of your phone
Though the intrusion in these celeb photos was done through iCloud, iCloud itself is actually very secure when used properly. In most cases their phones had no passcodes or TouchID activated. If you are an iPhone user, make sure you are using your TouchID, and Passcode lock.
Use 2 Step of greater authentication on your Email and any other app that you send personal data through. The additional layer of security can help in a major way. All major email providers like Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo offer 2 step verification
iPhone and Android users have a variety of encryption apps available to help them hide data on their phone. These have varying levels of success, but Vaulty happens to be one of the better ones.
Internet & mobile security is a major issue, and we all need to be diligent. As TIME writer Justin Worland puts it "The only way to completely protect yourself on the internet is to stay off it. But if you want to continue living in the 21st century, use two-step verification. Apple’s iCloud is just one of many services where you can set your account so that it asks you two personalized questions before you can access it. This makes it much, much harder for hackers to get where you don’t want them."
We all deserve the personal freedom to take personal and private photos, and share that media with that special someone. But in today's climate of security, we all need to be diligent to protect them against the prying eyes of potential thieves and predators.
Hard drives fail. It happens. The question is never if the failure is coming, but when. So, you plan for the worst: backup plans are in place and disaster recovery options have been discussed and approved. Now, your data is safe... for the most part.
What happens to files and documents that are open and active at the time of failure? Sometimes hours of important work can be lost within the most robust and proactive networks between backups when a failure occurs. You have two immediate options: attempt recovery yourself or seek the help of a professional recovery company. If the data is mission critical or irreplaceable, then your best bet is to contract with the professionals. However, if you have technical experience and the confidence that you can recover the data yourself, then consider this information first.
Data loss can occur for many reasons, but the two most common data loss types end up accounting for most cases.
The first is software related. This can be the easiest to recover from and usually is the result of an accidental adjustment or change. Software-related data loss can be as simple as an accidental deletion of a folder with the emptying of the Recycle Bin or it can be as dire as a reformatted partition, which still contained in-use files. Either way, the software-related data loss scenario is as unexpected as it is accidental.
The next most common factor is the most common reason for hard drive related data loss: hardware failure. Your hard drive is a collection of intricate and delicate machinery operating in a complex and very specific way, which allows data to be stored within a high-rpm magnetically coated disk or chips that use NAND flash technology and the like. It is a wonder that these pieces of equipment ever worked in the first place, but they do and they do it so well that we are constantly surprised when they do fail. And they do. Unfortunately, when a hardware-based failure occurs, the most realistic option for the successful recovery of lost data is contacting a data recovery specialist. However, it is not the only option for experienced users.
Software-based Data Recovery
You have discovered that data is missing or lost on a working hard drive and you are confident that the drive in question has not suffered a mechanical failure of any kind. What steps do you take to secure the most reliable self-recovery solution?
- The most important aspect of software-based data recovery to understand is to stop using the drive, which contains the lost data. As long as this drive is connected to an operating computer, the OS has the opportunity to read and write over the missing sectors. Your OS does not know that the missing files are located in that empty section of the hard drive, it only sees free space the make use of. The longer the drive is connected to an operational OS, the lower your chances of a full recovery become.
- Clone your drive. If you are confident enough to attempt a data recovery on your drive then the cloning of a drive is nothing new to you. There a numerous programs out there that provide adequate cloning capabilities, so choose the one you are the most comfortable. The reason for cloning the drive in question is to isolate the original data source from testing errors and to provide the opportunity to recover the data in other ways if your recovery attempts fail.
- Scan the clone. Take the newly cloned drive and subject it to any recovery program process that you choose to use. Once again, there are a great many options for software data recovery, from free to pricey, and each have their pluses and minuses, so choose accordingly.
- Recover data or return to square one. At this point, the data is recovered or it's not. If you were not successful, you can try another program on your clone, re-clone the source drive, or contact a professional recovery service depending on your stamina and patience.
Hardware-based Data Recovery
The self-recovery options for hardware-related data recovery are much more extensive than the options available for software, so we will be covering these in my next blog post. In the meantime, take a look at a few previous blog posts that discuss prevention methods for hard drives.