Is Your Business Ready For The Next Catastrophe?

Nothing is constant in this world. You may think that it only applies to people but we fail to realize that the planet itself is changing and has undergone a multitude of changes since time immemorial. These changes happened for millions of years leading to the world that we know of today. It’s funny that most people are oblivious that these changes are actually in the form of natural calamities especially flooding and earthquakes that depicts movements in the earth’s plates.

For now, we may feel invincible and super reliant on our modern-day gadgets to keep us safe from most harms when in reality they are just as vulnerable as you in the face of Mother Nature’s wrath. Your risks double when you have a business that serves as your bread-and-butter that you need to also protect at all times. Data, most especially, is one of the most important things you need to protect because the success and continuity of your business are highly dependent on it. Since we can’t tell or stop a disaster from happening, the best we can do is to prepare for it so that your business still prospers even in its wake.

You can take steps to help ensure that your business is one of those that can recover after a disaster, even when your facilities are destroyed and even when your employees are scattered to the wind. But you can’t do so by just by hoping. Passivity is the enemy of any effective disaster recovery (DR) plan.

Instead, you must start proactively planning for tomorrow’s disasters today. This means that you need to consider all of the factors that are critical to the survival of your business and to the return of your business after the disaster is over. Those factors need to include data protection and preservation, as you’d expect, but there’s more to recovery than just having good data backups. In fact, there are factors that are at least as important as your company’s data. These factors include your employees, a facility from which to work, a temporary production environment, and support services such as internet and telephone. Miss any of those and you won’t be in business even if you’ve backed up every bit and byte.


Planning is the first step you must take and that includes having a disaster recovery plan in place. If possible, try to include your physical devices in the preparation because they are also costly investments that you can’t easily replace in the snap of a finger but more so with your business data that is the backbone of your business operation. Make sure you back everything up while you still can because there are plenty of data that are irreplaceable and can make or break the success of your business.

Another important step you should not forget is to communicate your plan to all your employees because what use is a plan when nobody would put it into practice when the need for it arises.

  1. Test Your Plan

You cannot simulate an actual hurricane or lightning strike, but you can test your plan under simulated conditions. Doing a test is a way to see if staff members know how to follow the right procedures and if your backups are easily accessible.

Did your team gain access to cloud backups quickly during the test? Did everyone understand their specific role? Testing should answer these types of questions. Any deviations from the plan warrant some retraining and review of the plan in case conditions or best practices have changed.

Perhaps the testing shows flaws in the team’s security and password procedures, or exposes the need for expanded cloud storage to include all of the firm’s data.


Now that you have everything laid out, do not forget to test your plan before you even experience any real calamity at all. Sometimes you may think that your plan is perfect only to realize that it has many flaws once you put it into use. Test your plan and find out where you can still improve. This is why fire and earthquake drills are always conducted because it can truly make a difference when the real thing happens. People’s familiarity with the routine will somehow prevent them from panicking and help them react better than a person who never had any experience with such drills. The same thing applies to disaster recovery plans. You’ll also be able to get feedback from your employees about things you may have overlooked and can improve on during these simulations.

The cloud can help a lot in the midst of a disaster especially in protecting and saving your precious files. You’ll have higher chances of being able to access your data in the aftermath of a calamity rather than store them in physical storage devices located in your own offices.

If you are an ordinary computer user and having problems with your devices because of water or fire exposure, these pages: and may help.

The following blog article Is Your Business Ready For The Next Catastrophe? is courtesy of



What You Need To Know About The World’s Biggest Hard Drive

Everything just keeps on getting better as the days go by. Technology always has a surprise in store for all of us. We just get immersed deeper and deeper into the wonderful world of the web with each new technology that comes out. Whether it be smart technology, social media, various games and apps, and many other digital services that make our lives easier and better, using these devices to access the web is already ingrained to our daily lives.

Along with this increased reliance on technology and fondness for the endless entertainment it brings to our lives comes issues with storage. Of course, your device has a limit to the number of apps you can download or the number of videos and photos you can save. Technology also has the answer to this problem. Storage devices have grown in capacity too. Whether it is a built-in hard drive or an external device like a flash drive or an EHD, the storage capacity is pretty mindblowing now with the latest hard drive from Ultrastar with 15TB capacity.

Step aside, boring 14TB hard drives. There’s a new storage champion in town: Western Digital has announced a new 15TB Ultrastar DC HC620 HDD that takes the crown as the biggest hard drive yet, via SlashGear.

The new drive beats out Western Digital’s 14TB model that it announced last year and Seagate’s recently announced 14TB lineup. Seagate did announce last year that it was planning to release a 16TB drive in 2018, which would have topped the old 14TB drives as well as the new 15TB Ultrastar, but there hasn’t been any word on the 16TB drive since that initial announcement.


You can download and save as many files as you want with a storage capacity this big. There is a catch, though. This new device is not yet available in the market but when it does become available, it is not something that you can use personally because such a storage solution is often geared for enterprise networks. You can expect that it won’t come cheap too but it is a small price to pay for the additional storage it offers.

Western Digital expects the new 15TB drives to be used to store video footage captured by smart city 4K surveillance cameras, which can produce about 28TB over half a year.

As with the 14TB hard drives, the 15TB hard drive uses host-managed SMR (shingled magnetic recording), a method of writing data to disk that is slow but also allows for greater density.

It’s suited to workloads that require sequential writes and, aside from video surveillance, it could be useful for object storage and cloud services.


Different businesses can benefit from this increased storage. For instance, video surveillance eats up a lot of memory especially for 24/7 security monitoring and having a hard drive with at least 15TB memory can save and store months’ worth of video surveillance for your monitoring and peace of mind. Even companies that offer cloud services can benefit from the biggest hard drive to be soon released into the market because the popularity of the cloud is rising among computer users. Saving on the cloud is a good form of a backup plan without having to spend more money on additional storage devices that may still get corrupted or remain vulnerable to natural disasters. Servers, in particular, will likewise work more efficiently with a bigger storage capacity.

As big as it may seem storage wise, all hard drives remain the same. They contain moving parts that are prone to wear and tear over the years and can ultimately break down leaving you stressed because of all your lost files. Data recovery is a vital service to get your lost data back and help you overcome problems like and that are experienced by the majority of computer users.

The blog article What You Need To Know About The World’s Biggest Hard Drive Read more on: HDRA


Is Your Data Safe?

With the amount of time you spend on your device and browsing the web and the countless data you have shared both online and offline, you can never really be sure anymore if your data is still safe wherever it may be. Every time you visit a site, you leave a digital footprint and this trace accumulates over time with your daily activities on the web. These companies, and even browsing giants like Google, take notice of your browsing habits and save the pertinent information you share on the web for whatever use they may see fit in the future. It usually is done for a profit and is often sold to third-parties who are studying consumer groups and habits so they can better market their products and services directly to their target markets.

However, there are plenty of dangers of the web. There are criminals lurking in all corners of the Internet waiting for a chance to strike on unknowing victims and steal their data. Many of these online crooks spread malware and other web-based bugs that either steal your data, hold your data/device hostage, steal your computing power, or simply infect your device with viruses that would soon render it useless. Even with company mergers, data security is a major issue too that we should be wary of somehow especially if the business in question is a major online fixture like Yahoo, for instance.

Data privacy, cybersecurity, and data breach risks are important due diligence issues in mergers and acquisitions. Post-acquisition discovery of security problems, and even notifiable breaches, is a far too common scenario.

According to one report, more than a third (40%) of acquiring companies engaged in a merger and acquisition transaction said they discovered a cybersecurity problem during the post-acquisition integration of the acquired company. The most highly publicized example of an M&A-related cybersecurity problem was Verizon’s discovery of a prior data breach at Yahoo! after having executed an acquisition agreement to acquire the company.


Data shared to companies will be divulged and left out in the open during the initial and more vulnerable stages of the acquisition when the business hierarchy is in disarray and anybody with inside knowledge can take advantage of this momentary chaos to steal data of the users for monetary gain. If not an inside job, it can also be done by outsiders like hackers who are knowledgeable about such takeovers and will try various attempts to steal data of the consumers, among others.

The research – which surveyed 1,000 people in the UK – found that although a large proportion of brands focus on diversity and climate change as part of their marketing strategy, such issues aren’t at the forefront of consumers minds, with data security and data privacy topping the list of issues that consumers cite as highly important.

Data security would certainly not have topped the list five years ago, but given the spate of high profile data breaches – from TalkTalk and Tesco to the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal – that the issue is now the prevailing issue of concern among consumers might not be a surprise.

Although consumers are putting increasing strain on businesses to act on important issues of the day, research shows there is an innate distrust of business motives.


The general public is aware of these problems and it worries them as well knowing that their most private data are accessible to outsiders and can have an imminent threat to their lives. You may face such a problem with online banking. People can easily steal your funds without you knowing if they can tap into the bank’s system and use your personal data that were stolen from somewhere. Many consumers are now proactive in demanding the security of their data from businesses they deal with rather than suffer from stressful and costly data breaches later on that could’ve been prevented early on.

For example, Apple products are generally regarded as fool-proof and safe from hackers but over time we have seen that it is just as vulnerable as most Windows PCs sold in today’s market. Hence, you’d likely experience dealing with problems like and With the help of experts, data recovery can still be a success and spare you from the many problems brought about by data loss and data breaches.

Is Your Data Safe? See more on:


Data Security In The Virtual World

You’ll be surprised at the amount of personal information you willingly broadcast to the world without you really knowing. From your obsession with social media to games and other apps, you end up putting in personal details in order to access these platforms. Aside from that, some sites you visit also use cookies to better enhance the entire user experience by collecting your information and tracks your every visit. This is also employed in online marketing as you can see that you usually see ads of the things that might actually interest you to buy as a consumer.

You constantly use tech devices day in and day out. Whether for work, school, or personal use, it has become a part of your system that you can no longer live without it. The sad thing is that we are also the ones who sabotage our own safety by not being careful enough when divulging personal data. With all the cyber criminals lurking in every part of the web, you can never really tell when someone is out there to steal your information. Malware attacks are so common now. Last year, ransomware attacks have taken the world by storm and even affected big institutions like hospitals and other government agencies.

Most users willingly volunteer personal information to online apps and services because they believe they have nothing to hide and nothing to lose.

When I hear this reasoning, it reminds me of stories from World War II in which soldiers sat on the sideline when the enemy was not actively pursuing them. When the enemy did come, nobody was left to protect the soldiers who waited around. That’s why it’s essential for all users to take a stand on data privacy — even if they’re not personally affected at this very moment.

Some folks are happy to disclose their personal information because it makes their lives easier. I recently spoke to a chief information security officer (CISO) and privacy officer at a major unified communications company who told me about an employee who willingly submitted personal data to a retail company because it streamlined the online shopping experience and delivered ads that were targeted to his or her interests.


Try to be more careful when sharing these details on the web because your information may end up in the wrong hands and cause you so many troubles. Many of these third-parties are advertisers who will do whatever they can to access the public’s information for their personal gain. After all, you can generate more income if you can target more people, right? You may feel that your data is safe somehow but that isn’t always the case especially when there is a security breach like what is happening right now here and there. Malware attacks are either meant to steal your data or take advantage of your device’s computing power to mine for digital currencies like bitcoin. It is so common now that cryptocurrency has blown up to exponential proportions.

As such, the term ‘know your enemy is key’. From phishing, spear-phishing and whaling, ransomware and malware, to ghostware, blastware and DDoS, keeping on top of threats is increasingly difficult – especially because as soon as a solution to one issue is found, another version pops up. Cyber security isn’t just an issue of time and resource for organisations; it can also be one of cost. Indeed, according to Gartner, cyber security will cost businesses $96 billion in 2018.

In addition, organisations are having to respond to increasing customer awareness about the value of their data growing pressure to not only keep it safe from malicious attack, but also use it responsibly, and not exploit it in the way organisations such as Cambridge Analytica have been accused of.

Of course, customers aren’t the only ones applying pressure when it comes to data protection. GDPR has transformed consumer data best practice across all sectors. It is also playing an important role in placing the power firmly back where it belongs, in the hands of the consumer.


There are measures you can take to safeguard your own privacy. Always use your own device especially when accessing online. You wouldn’t want to leave your account accessible to others because you hastily have to go somewhere and don’t have the time to clear everything in your wake. It is even more costly if the files you left vulnerable are work-related and have a big impact on your chosen career and your future. You have to be observant if there are any changes in your device or accounts that could signify a breach has taken place. It isn’t easy given that threats always linger so you need to be up on your toes always because the virtual world can be a nasty place for the innocent, careless, and the oblivious.

Most Mac users feel that they are generally safe from online attacks because mac devices are a different breed from the majority of Window’s PCs used by the majority. Unfortunately, Mac devices have been targeted by several malware attacks too and if you want to avoid the pains of data loss, better heed these tips and

The following blog article Data Security In The Virtual World was first published to HDRA Blog


Data Recovery And How It Helps Your Business

Data is crucial to running a business. Can businesses survive in the event of data loss? Well, it depends on what data was lost and its extent, like how many data were lost and how it will affect the business as a whole. It also helps to know which type of data is lost as there are several types that matter in a business, examples of which are customer data, sales data, operations data, financial data, employee data, and online data. This information has a different impact on the business but they are all important for the smooth day-to-day operation.

Having them organized and stored properly yet can be easily accessed is also a must since they aren’t just words and figures but they are important indicators of how well your business is doing and what area can still be improved. Another reason why you should always be very careful in storing your data is because we now live in a virtual world that is highly connected by the IoT, business works faster and more efficiently if everything can be accessed on the web with ease and you can also easily monitor all aspects of the business to ensure nothing is amiss. Any problems concerning data loss can be catastrophic especially when you don’t have a backup plan in place.

In these technological times, data reigns supreme. In general, data encompasses a broad range of elements from facts, observations, measurements, words, numbers, and statistics. The type of data and its related importance can vary among individuals, organizations, and businesses.

In terms of businesses, data is exceptionally important and includes an assemblage of information that provides a highly-specific picture of your customer demographics, buying patterns, internal business processes, and much more.

With this essential data, businesses are able to fast-track their way to success by optimizing resources to execute a well-founded strategy to improve and enhance their market prowess, while impressively expanding revenue.


By now, almost all businesses make use of technology somehow. If not all business can afford to equip their business with a computer, most owners have a smartphone or a smart gadget that helps them in a way in interacting with customers or advertising their business and services on the web especially on social media platforms where it can be seen by their target customers. While computer use has their drawbacks especially when it comes to cost and finances, they can definitely increase efficiency and productivity, which translates to profit in the long run. You can do business wherever you are in the world as long as you can access the web.

With every day that goes by the world becomes increasingly digital with data being relied upon for everyday operations – making downtime more and more destructive.

For years, service providers have built the very backbones of their business on offering cloud solutions. Yet Acronis says now is the time to take the next step as the market is ready for disaster recovery (DR) cloud services.

Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) can be defined as the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide fail over in the event of a man-made or natural catastrophe.


Along with the ease and comfort offered by technology are the woes of data loss. Even if you do backup your files, there is still no assurance that all your backup devices will keep your data safe and sound. Several factors like accidental data deletion, online bugs, system failure, hardware damage, etc. You may also lose or damage other backups like flash drives and external hard drives, so you still lose your data and your business suffers.

When that happens, data recovery is the last resort your business can take to keep it going. It may be a little costly but getting your data back is more important because your business will be crippled without it. This is not something that an ordinary person can do on their own. You usually have to hire the expert services of a data recovery expert and it does not always come cheap. Check this out to learn more about data recovery pricing so you only pay the right price and not get ripped off of your hard-earned money. Once checked by an expert, they can also decipher whether your hard drive can still be fixed and used or whether you need to buy a new one ASAP. Getting your hard drive fixed will put your business on the map again and ensure your operation runs smoothly 24/7.

Data Recovery And How It Helps Your Business is available on


Data Recovery Up In The Clouds

We know that you can’t always count on physical devices to work perfectly all the time because there are various factors to consider that can affect its reliability and performance. Wear and tear can slow down your device and eventually affect its performance but aside from that, there are other threats you face constantly, even more common now that malware attacks happen more often than it did in the past. Unfortunately, it also means your data is more at risk now too. Malwares today can even steal your data by gaining remote access to your device, so you have to be more careful than ever or risk losing your precious data to complete strangers. When storing data, it is not advisable to save it in just save one location in case your PC breaks down or you lose access to that device.

Nowadays, the cloud is proving to be so handy in many things. More people and businesses use it now for a lot of reasons and it has made work and life easier and more convenient too. It is true in a lot of ways and cloud computing has changed the game for everyone else. Unfortunately, it isn’t as reliable as we want to believe it to be. Cloud outages, while rare, can still happen. However, not all companies anticipate or even prepare for it to happen and that remains to be a big misconception for a lot of people. While the infrastructure may seem protected up in the cloud, not the same can be said for the applications. There is also a big possibility for you to lose your data in the rare case of these cloud outages especially if you are clueless that these things can actually happen and you haven’t prepared for it. You end up seeking professional help to get your device working again or in trying to salvage lost data back

“Organisations are clearly lacking in understanding the anatomy of a cloud outage and that recovery is a joint responsibility between the cloud service provider and the business,” Mike Palmer, executive vice president and chief product officer, Veritas said.

“Immediate recovery from a cloud outage is absolutely within an organization’s control and responsibility to perform if they take a proactive stance to application uptime in the cloud. Getting this right means less downtime, financial impact, loss of customers’ trust and damage to brand reputation.”


A backup plan should always be in place especially if you or your business rely too much on cloud computing to get things done. Remember that you have no idea what goes on up there in the cloud since it is owned and operated by third-party providers. While nobody wants outages to happen especially when they know so many rely on their service to work without fail 24/7, accidents do happen even to the most careful of people or those observing the strictest of standards. Businesses should be aware of this, so their business not also suffer when these mishaps happen because we know technology falters. You can’t afford to lose a life-changing document because you weren’t able to save it in time or store it in a rather safe location before blackouts happen. Sometimes, data are still lost even if you have generators in place because it takes a while for them to kick in. It is why you can see a rise in computer repairs like after outages and disasters.

Regional services providers are worth considering for data protection destination. Not only can they lend expertise in designing a data protection solution, working with them might mean an organization will be able to substantially reduce costs.

For example, they may be able to create templates for some or all of your composable workloads, removing the need to back them up at all. They may also have lower cost solutions available for database replication, or be able to help put in place data efficiency solutions that help reduce network capacity demands.

Ultimately, successful data protection will require a mixture of backup methods, understanding the workloads to be protected and tackling technical debt. Every situation is different, but near-zero data loss in the face of disaster is becoming possible for even the smallest of organizations. You just have to know where to make the necessary compromises.


In the end, the best solution to all your computing woes is having a combination of various data storage methods, both physical and virtual, to help you overcome whatever technical problem that comes your way. The cloud is a great addition to your options but don’t rely on it completely as you have probably read about various issues involving the clouds over the past year. Having a backup is the only sure way for you to go about your tasks and business that can give you utter peace of mind that your business will do just fine even in the aftermath of a disaster.

Data Recovery Up In The Clouds is courtesy of


How Data Warehousing Has Changed

If you ask me today, data makes the world go round. We thrive on data, data from our cellular network providers to the very data we create and save every time we use the computer and the web. We freak out at the thought of losing valuable data whenever there is something wrong with our gadgets or when we accidentally delete files we aren’t supposed to erase. Back in the 90s, data warehousing was the hottest tech craze and companies did not think twice to put their money on it.

The problem with this concept is that it did not live up to its promise, specifically to the return of investment entrepreneurs wanted from such a big investment mainly because of the wrong strategy used. Data warehouses should ideally act as a data information hub rather than an aggregation platform for all sorts of data that it turned out to be.

The concept of data warehouse was at its peak of investments and hype in the ‘90s. Back then, enterprises spent a fortune on data warehouse. Seeing the potential that data offered, average investment by organizations ranged from USD 30 to USD 40 million on data warehousing capabilities. Enterprises started building infrastructures to assimilate and consume data on a common platform, but they had no clear idea about its utilization and life cycle management. They eventually used it as a central place for enterprises to collect transactional data and distribute it to those who needed it. 

CIOs often ask this, because CFOs question them where the ROI is. When we speak to CXOs, they point out that only forty to fifty percent of their business needs are being met by a data warehouse – this is a low number for such an investment.

Though a centralised repository of data system was put in place, the investment didn’t live up to its promise. About ninety percent of enterprises failed in creating value because they implemented the wrong strategy. A data warehouse was perceived as a central base to collect all types of data across an enterprise. With a lot of unnecessary data coming in, the data overgrew its size. It worked as a data aggregation platform rather than a data information hub. There’s a structural flaw in this design, while data volume, governance and sustenance went for a toss. Enterprises didn’t consider a data warehouse as a strategic infrastructure which meets all the business data requirements of an enterprise.


In the past, data were often housed in enterprise mainframe servers but most of them are stored in the cloud nowadays. This non-volatile collection of data is what helps analysts and executives make practical decisions for the best of the company while at the same time keeping them separately from operational databases.

“We see an accelerated move toward the cloud,” Shamgunov says. “When talking to our customers or attending conferences, we see most enterprises using hybrid environments with infrastructure deployed on premises and in several public clouds. We believe that multi-cloud environments is the future and enterprises will choose to depend on infrastructure that works across clouds.”

“Specifically in data warehousing, we see a shift from expensive on-premises offerings to much more efficient cloud data warehouses,” Shamgunov continues. “Traditionally, moving data has been a hard proposition due to its stickiness, however the cloud proposition is irresistible. Having a solution that works natively in the cloud and with an option of deploy on-premises has become a unique, compelling position for MemSQL.”


Data warehouse comes in handy in banking and financial institutions as well as in the retail and consumer sector. A lot has changed with how data is stored these days, especially that millions to billions of data are stored, managed, and analyzed by the minute. And to keep up with the fast-paced life, companies now need real-time insights about the multitude of these data to help them make smart decisions whenever it is needed.

While big companies get worried about the future of data warehousing, ordinary individuals like us have hard drive issues to deal with. We go crazy when our hard drive acts up and we can’t access important files. When that happens, ask for the help of in recovering every bits and piece of data you have saved. are professionals to help you not only get your data back but your sanity as well. Don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it the most.

How Data Warehousing Has Changed was first published to HDRA Blog


Are You Still Safe When Browsing The Web?

We surf the World Wide Web almost every day now. That’s the new norm of life these days. People can’t help themselves from checking their various social networking sites daily out of #FOMO or the fear of missing out. Whether it be Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or some other trendy and hip social media that’s in right now, count on everyone (both the young and the old) to flock it and waste all their free time on it. We share more and more data online the more we frequent the web on a daily basis.

Now that almost everyone is on the web, we should think about our safety and security seriously because criminals have found a new playground too. If you think about it, you put in a lot of personal and sensitive details on your SNS accounts that others may inadvertently use to hack your other accounts or cash in money through online banking transactions. Your photos and identity can be stolen too by identity thieves that are plenty online.

Are you familiar with the term “Mega Breach”? Symantec defines this as a breach of data that exposes personal data of a minimum of 10 million people during a single incident.

Unfortunately, that seems to be happening more and more. If you pay attention to the National Cyber Security Alliance, half of the attacks of this nature are aimed at companies that have less than 2,500 employees.


Hackers have leveled up their game and can infiltrate even the most sophisticated and advance security measures businesses have put in place to protect their clients. It is why data security and data privacy are now the focus of everyone to ensure that their data isn’t exploited by some creep for monetary gain.

A recent report by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and National Crime Agency (NCA) (the “NCA Report”) described the cyber-threat to UK business as “significant and growing”. 65% of large UK firms detected a cyber security breach in the past year according to the government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2016 (the “Cyber Survey”). Against this background, cyber security combined with effective risk management, is a key priority for businesses in 2017.

Three factors contribute to this increased threat of cyber-attacks. First, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the progression towards an ever increasing number of internet connected devices provides hackers with more attack vectors than ever before. Secondly, hackers are learning from each other and sharing their knowledge. Thirdly, the technical expertise required to carry out cyber-attacks is declining, as DDoS (distributed denial of service) and malware can easily be obtained on the dark web.


While we often shrug off issues pertaining to data security and privacy on the web, we may unconsciously easily fall prey to cybercriminals who have become adept and skilled in stealing valuable data.

By now, we’ve grown accustomed to our devices listening to us. Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Bixby, Cortana, and every other disembodied virtual taskrabbit has been hearing our commands—and who knows what else—for years. But, with its last two smart hub devices, Amazon has pushed one step beyond the microphone, asking users to install cameras in their homes. Yesterday, with the announcement of the Echo Show, Amazon reaffirmed its plan to have Alexa see you in addition to hear you. It’s a small step forward in terms of usability, but a major can of worms when it comes to our security and privacy.

For most users, the greater concern might not be what Amazon or the government wants with the Echo, but what hackers can do with a microphone, camera and screen placed on the bedside table or in their child’s nursery. In this case, the only immediate protection for most people will be the skill of Amazon’s engineering team. We saw a similar conversation take place regarding smart TVs and their ability to hear things they maybe shouldn’t.


We have been used to having devices do things for us. It started with home appliances that made preparing and cooking food easier as well as cleaning up after. Then, there came entertainment systems that made our lives more enjoyable and exciting. Today, it’s all about smart gadgets that connect directly to the web for our comfort and convenience. No need to buy a bulky computer or pricey laptop to go online. We can now access the web using a device we can easily put in our bags or pockets.

And with the drastic rise in Internet users is the issue of our safety and security when using the web. Can we trust all sites that we visit? Are our data really safe from hackers? We can’t really tell, right? Just stay vigilant and careful of the sites you visit and make sure important details aren’t visible to the public. Having an antivirus and firewall can likewise protect you from potentially malicious sites. There are a lot of other ways to protect your data from online thieves and feel free to ask the experts like Kindly check the link as well to learn more about data recovery if you are a Mac user. can also provide you some insight and a helping hand for individuals who aren’t handy with technology. Let the pros handle it to lessen the damage.

Are You Still Safe When Browsing The Web? was originally published to Hard Drive Recovery Associates


How Technology Can Help Against Floods

We can’t deny the innate beauty of the natural world but it is far from perfect. It is not every day that the weather is sunny. Other times, the clouds can cast a gloom that also affects people’s emotions and makes them feel depressed. But there are real dangers to the world’s natural weather systems. The planet has witnessed its fair share of natural calamities and disasters that forever wiped out entire civilizations. The ancient city of Pompeii was buried in ash and lava spewed by Italy’s Mt. Vesuvius. The entire Mayan population disappeared almost without a trace and remains to be a mystery until today. Even in biblical times, only Noah and his family survived the great flood aboard Noah’s ark.

It no longer comes as a surprise the looming threats our modern world faces as we continue to plunder the world of its natural resources. Weather phenomena have intensified. The world is getting hotter as heat is trapped within the atmosphere. The ocean is rising. What about us? We are in a big mess that we created ourselves. In our endless pursuit of progress, we compromised many things that the world has to offer that it is now striking back at us with a vengeance. The question is, are we ready for it? Can we survive one disaster after another and still ensure the survival of our species? Can we continue to live a normal life in the face of such natural calamities?

In February 2017, California‘s Oroville Dam received national attention as a narrowly averted flood disaster. A decade earlier—in June 2008—it was Wisconsin‘s turn: Near the popular tourist destination city Wisconsin Dells, excessive rainfall eroded the highway that formed part of the Lake Delton Dam, resulting in a torrential washout into the Wisconsin River 40 feet below. It swept away three homes, destroyed two others, and left the lake drained for months.
At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, these and many other examples motivate Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Daniel Wright to help improve the nation’s flood risk preparedness.

“Many of the 80,000 dams in our country, especially the 90 percent classified as smaller, have similar structural problems as the Oroville Dam,” Wright says. “We know it’s just a matter of time until a big rainfall will overwhelm the next one—but unfortunately, this problem is not yet receiving enough attention.”

Wright hopes to change that with the aptly named RainyDay software: a planning tool he and his colleagues developed and published, in April 2017, in the journal Environmental Modelling & Software.


We like to think that our modern advancements can protect us from nature’s wrath but who are we fooling? Whatever man-made structure we have built today are insignificant in the face of a major catastrophe like tsunamis or earthquakes. But there is still hope. Aside from increasing our environmental conservation efforts, this new software that can protect towns and cities from floods can save countless lives, especially that global warming continues to melt polar caps that eventually make the sea level rise. Other innovative flood control projects like water gates, flood barriers, or storm surge barriers are already in use in countries like Japan, England, and The Netherlands. If they can do it, it’s also possible for other nations to copy the same technologies especially the low-lying ones that are at higher risk of getting flooded.

But the threat of rising tides is shaping change on a more basic level, too. The New York Times reports that the risk of future flooding is changing the way that buildings are designed in the city. Gone, for instance, are top-floor penthouses, replaced instead with emergency generators that won’t get flooded—and can provide enough power for residents to remain in their apartment for as long as a week. Elsewhere, special drainage systems channel water away within foundations, and ground floors are being built with materials that can tolerate floods.

Meanwhile, Curbed reports that initiatives are also under way outside of Manhattan. In Broad Channel Island, in the borough of Queens, street levels are being raised so sidewalks and roads stand taller than previously relative to the nearby waters of Jamaica Bay. And in another Queens district, Breezy Point, new houses are being built on raised platforms to save them from floods.

If all else fails, we could embrace the seas. The government of French Polynesia has just agreed to consider hosting a city of floating islands, which have long been in development by the Seasteading Institute. The idea: small, floating structures employ renewable power and sustainable aquaculture to allow inhabitants to fend for themselves in harmony with the ocean.


Technology only becomes good or bad depending on how you use it. Abuse it and you end up destroying the world but use it wisely and it can improve our lives without damaging the natural order of the planet. The planet is made up of ¾ water. Imagine the threat of a water calamity that can wipe out any city because we failed to protect the environment from irresponsible human activities. Let us support the development of sustainable technologies that protect us from disasters like floods because we can see it ravaging many places on the planet today and we can only expect it to get worse over time.

When all else fails and you find your home submerged in flood water, don’t cry out in despair if your computer’s hard drive was damaged by the water. Find out how to address this issue here or you can call us for professional help, so you no longer have to stress yourself about this problem. Computers are expensive and they often store data that are just as precious. Save yourself from all the hassles and stresses of such a tech emergency and just dial our number right away.

Other times, it’s not a water issue but another element that is just as fierce, fire. If your hard drive, unfortunately, had to endure a fire-related accident, this article may be of help. The elements can be so unforgiving, so try not to mess around with them as much as you can. However, accidents do happen but no need to worry because we are here to help.

How Technology Can Help Against Floods is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog


What’s All The Fuss About Data Recovery

We use data everywhere. From our own personal information to school or work-related documents and files, we have different uses for these data and require 24/7 access to them when the need arises. In our modern world, most of these data are stored in digital mediums like computers or smart gadgets for easy access and convenient storage. They can be stored directly on PC hard drives or on external data storage devices like flash drives or external hard drives.

However, you can’t always count on your device to work 100% of the time because of a variety of issues. Hence, there is always the risk of data loss that is a disaster waiting to happen. Moreover, most computer users (especially entrepreneurs) don’t make it a habit to regularly duplicate their files for safe keeping. Their data goes unprotected and they have no one else to blame when they do lose it whether by accident, natural disasters, or cyber attacks, etc.

Data is, without doubt, one of the greatest assets to any business enterprise, especially with GDPR coming into force in the next year. A commitment to backing up your data is therefore a crucial component of ensuring continued business success.

You wouldn’t leave your valuable tangible assets lying around unprotected, but it seems that out of sight is out of mind as many users neglect to protect the intangible asset of data thus placing themselves at the risk of dire consequences.

Research by StollzNow, revealed that a staggering 49% of businesses have reported data loss in the last two years. With almost half of all businesses surveyed experiencing data loss, it’s clear that this is an extremely widespread and serious issue with potentially diabolical consequences.


And since we now know how valuable data is, let’s talk about data recovery. It simply is the process of recovering lost data from any storage device. It consists of steps or advanced methods in securing lost data regardless of how it was lost. In data recovery, experts always suggest taking protective measures like securing backup data to avoid having to deal with the pains of data loss. Data recovery can either be done using data recovery software or with the help of a professional trained to do the job where the latter is often the last resort in case the software fails to recover any of the data that were lost.

Imagine if your data was “taken” but instead of panicking, you instantly became Liam Neeson from the movie “Taken”. The coolest, toughest character ever imagined, who dealt with his own ransom situation – without paying.

WannaCry, a ransomware campaign with unprecedented scale, hit around 200,000 systems across 150 countries.

Australia was no exception, with reports of several businesses impacted by the attack and more local computer systems expecting to be hit.

When ransomware hits: three options for data recovery

“Ransomware” is increasingly becoming the number one cause of data loss for businesses. Software security has become more resilient to cyber attacks, but what happens (and it does happen a lot) when the security systems fail and are bypassed by a simple phishing attack, or a patch not applied?

Many organizations, both big and small, came to a standstill as the ransomware Wannacry hit them hard recently. They can no longer access all their important files after the device has been encrypted and they have no way of getting it back unless they pay the ransom in bitcoins. However, paying the ransom is not always an assurance they can get their data back. In the face of these modern threats, data recovery becomes even more important especially that you lose access to all your files stored in that device during these attacks.

Those skills, are data recovery skills. The only way businesses can ignore any ransomware is to immediately recover from data backup, and the emphasis is on immediately.

Cyber attacks are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and while an attack cannot always be avoided, there are steps you can put in place to mitigate the effects of attacks. You can have processes in place to minimise customer impact and the organisation’s own brand and reputation.

For example, achievable Recovery Time Objectives (RTO). RTO refers to the time it takes a business to restore data once a disaster has struck, including bringing your systems back to normal. It may seem straightforward on the surface but to be able to perform quick data recovery, you need to have a powerful data protection solution and an understood and agreed on service level in place.


Good data management is a must if you want to spare yourself from all the headaches of data loss. Even if the reason is a malicious third-party cyber crime, the damage won’t be as severe with a backup in place. Data recoverability is just as crucial as data security considering data is at the heart of every business or organization today. You need not worry about the threats of ransomware with a good data management practice in place.

If you lost your data and the data recovery software you used did not work for you, that’s when you reach out to a professional data recovery expert. However, data recovery can be quite costly. If you hate paying for services you can possibly avoid dealing with, familiarize yourself with the signs of an impending hard drive failure and what you can do before it eventually fails.

Many times computer users don’t realize the value of their data until their hard drive fails and they can no longer access their data. Whatever your gadget is, can enlighten you about what data recovery is all about. You likely have data issues if you have been searching about data recovery on the web. Please feel free to give us a call and we’ll help you figure out what to do to get your precious data back.

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