Level Up Your Computer Memory With A New SSD

Most computer and laptop owners are aware that their gadgets have a hard drive in place, where data and files are saved and stored. Some even go to great lengths and purchase a backup – an external hard drive where they transfer precious data to free up space on the computer’s hard drive itself. This can lessen the blow of any kind of hard drive crash. It is important always to understand how to tell if hard drive is failing fast, so you can fix the problem before it gets hairy.

What many are not aware of, there are other storage options for your computer aside from the conventional hard drives we know of. If you haven’t heard of an SSD or a Solid State Drive, now is the best time to give it a try and enjoy the same benefits offered by a hard drive and some more minus the minor flaws of using an HDD.

If your new Windows 10 computer takes a long time to boot up, that’s likely because it runs on a regular hard drive. This is also the case of most older computers. Do you know that replacing that hard drive with a solid-state drive (SSD) will make the machine run much faster? It’s true, a 5-year-old computer with an SSD boots much faster than even a brand new rig running on a regular hard drive. The good news is that swapping out the drives is quite easy to do and not too expensive either, thanks to the fact that SSDs are now much more affordable than they were a few years ago.

(Via: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-upgrade-ssd-windows-10/)

There is good news about SSDs and you are probably wondering what’s in it for you – a regular computer/ laptop user.

Hard drives are getting a much deserved kick in the pants with Intel’s new Optane Memory.

The processor maker claims its newest technology will give old-school spinning drives solid-state drive-like (SSD) speeds today and eventually transform computer storage forever. 

Intel Optane Memory might sound like RAM, but it’s actually a specialized storage product that hooks up to the M.2 storage slot (PCIe Gen 3.0×2) on a PC motherboard. You’ll find them on the latest motherboards designed for Intel’s latest 7th generation, or Kaby Lake, processors and the 200 series Intel chipset.

The connected storage drive endows you with 16GB or 32GB of Optane Memory for blazing fast cache.

Cache that can make, say, your 1TB, 7,200 rpm spinning hard drive twice as responsive in performing daily tasks and booting up or launch your browser up to five times faster. Oh, and how about 67% and 65% reductions in game app launch and game level load times, respectively?

(Via: http://www.techradar.com/news/intel-optane-memory-looks-to-give-traditional-hard-drives-a-serious-speed-boost)

And Intel is offering everyone a chance to upgrade their computer’s storage with an SSD that promises to work even better than the good old hard drive. Certainly on a speed level, this is almost always the case. But as for robustness and stability, the old school HDDs still hold the power. And yet, a new SSD can store data for an even longer time without the constant risk of data loss.

It definitely feels like Intel is on to something here, for the simple reason that most computer users look for the larger hard drive. It’s one of the most important factors to the casual user, and they definitely notice when storage space is lacking. What system builders know is that using an SSD improves the minute-to-minute usability and responsiveness of any system, to the point that we’ve taken to harshly criticize modern systems that don’t at least offer it as an option.
The bottom line is that Intel is offering up a product that makes some impressive promises to a market that already had to answer them.

(Via: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/intels-optane-memory-promises-to-kick-slow-hdds-in-the-pants/)

There’s no harm in trying this technology from Intel. Technology is evolving. Newer developments are designed to help us keep up with the various technological advancements the best way we can. And we will never really know if something works unless we give it a try. SSDs have been here for a while. Your computing and data needs will tell you whether you can benefit more from an SDD or an HDD.

The following blog article Level Up Your Computer Memory With A New SSD was initially seen on The Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

from Hard Drive Recovery Associates – Feed at https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/level-up-your-computer-memory-with-a-new-ssd/

Why Buy An External Hard Drive In 2021?

Our daily life revolves around the multiple use of technology. From smartphone use to the use of household appliances, we all have learned to incorporate their use in our daily lives. Back in the days, only a handful of people had personal computers or laptops of their own. There was really no need to own one since there was not much to do with it aside from encoding data and files. However, a lot has changed today that owning one simply is a must.

All computers and laptops have a built-in hard drives albeit not that big when you consider the sheer amount of video and music that we store on hard drives today. Storage space may be somehow limited; it is why computer and laptop owners who require plenty of storage purchase an external hard drive where they can save and store extra files. Having an external hard drive also protects your files from cyber criminals who are after your precious data. If used for backup, it can ensure that a hard drive failure doesn’t destroy all of your data forever. They are not flawless, however.

One afternoon last fall, Kevin, an engineer who works for a Florida power company, was quickly checking emails on his home computer when he spotted what he thought was a message containing the mailing label he needed to return some headphones he had recently bought.

The attachment came up blank, so he moved on. Soon his computer began to run a little sluggishly. Then, three hours later, his screensaver—a photo from a South Pacific vacation he and his wife had enjoyed—disappeared. When he checked the directory holding all his photos, he was startled to find them all renamed with strings of gibberish.
ALSO ON HIS SCREEN was an icon for a document he didn’t recognize. He clicked on it and panicked as he read a chilling message: “All of your files are encrypted,” it began. And they would be lost to him forever unless he made a ransom payment of $2,400.

This is a reality an unfortunate few experiences when they encounter experienced cyber criminals who will take advantage of you and your computer’s vulnerability. If you haven’t protected your data or stored a backup somewhere else, then you’re a goner. There are tons of places online, including Google Drive, where you can easily back stuff up. Do it today, and don’t be a Kevin!

What happened to Kevin and thousands of other people last year could easily happen to you. Your computer or smartphone could be attacked by what’s known as ransomware, a fast-growing online scourge that can cost you thousands of dollars if you pay to regain your files—and thousands of dollars if you don’t. Also at stake: documents critical to your business or personal finances, priceless family photos, and the days or weeks you might spend trying to replace what you have lost. Want to recover your photos or financial records? You could be ordered to pay anywhere from $200 to $10,000—the range of ransom money typically demanded of individuals, according to a recent IBM Security survey. And nearly a quarter of businesses hit by a ransomware attack end up paying $40,000 or more. As the Department of Homeland Security warned last year, ransomware’s effect can be “devastating.”

Ransomware has spread with terrifying speed. This type of malware—short for “malicious software”—accounted for fewer than 2% of emails with malicious links or attachments in the fall of 2015, according to PhishMe, a cybersecurity firm. By last fall, ransomware’s share had zoomed to a shocking 97%. Total ransomware losses in the U.S. hit $1 billion in 2016, up from $24 million in 2015, the FBI estimated.

(Via: http://time.com/money/page/ransomware-remove-prevention/)

It is never wise to store all your important files in one place. So if you have the money to spare, buying an external hard drive can save you from all these headaches. You have somewhere safe to store all your important documents, photos, and even songs and movies that you painstakingly downloaded from the web.

It may not be a widely celebrated holiday, but World Backup Day — celebrated on Mar. 31, just ahead of April Fools’ Day — aims to encourage computer users to regularly back up their data.
That appears to be something many users don’t do.
CBC Radio technology columnist Dan Misener explains why it’s important, and offers some strategies to keep data safe and secure.
It’s a day all about backup awareness, and getting more people to start backing up their computers if they don’t already, or — for those who do — to take a serious look at their backup strategy, and make sure it’s up to snuff.

Why is there a need to backup your computer?

Whenever I talk about the importance of backup, I always think about my friends Mike and Catherine, who lost every single photo of their twin sons’ first year because of a hard drive crash.
We’re talking about protecting your most precious digital documents. The kind of stuff that’s heartbreaking to lose, because it simply can’t be replaced.
And to be clear, backups don’t just protect against hard drive crashes — there are many, many ways to lose data. You can lose data in natural disasters like floods or fires, for example. Or you can lose data if your computer is stolen.
And then there’s ransomware.

(Via: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/world-backup-day-1.3510588)

Those are just some of the reasons why backing up your computer with an external hard drive, for instance, can save your files/ data (and even your life). Make a conscious effort to protecting your data because the web is not a safe place at all and that hackers are just around the corner waiting for you to click that one suspicious spam mail that can be your undoing.

Invest in your data security and free yourself from the constant worries of cyber crimes that happen all around you with the help of a trusted external hard drive where you can transfer and store important files from your phone, tablet, laptop, and computer. You’ll be more than glad that you did!

Why Buy An External Hard Drive In 2021? See more on: Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

from Hard Drive Recovery Associates – Feed at https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/why-buy-an-external-hard-drive/

Data Security On The Cloud

As we attempt to speed up transactions – whether in the government or in private companies – the processes of all offices and agencies are centralized and thus computerized. Like any form of technology, centralizing data and files has its pros and cons. It means that people in the same agency can access or modify the same file with just a few clicks regardless of location. It also greatly increases the likelihood that you won’t face a personal or business hard drive failure that ensures not only panic, but real problems.

But as the number of computer users increases, the demand for servers to accommodate data storage and security also rises. It is why cloud computing came into existence – to defy the usual physical limitations we face when it comes to communication and computing. With data on the cloud, we free our computer’s hard drives from the burden of storing such a large number of files yet still allow us to access it whenever the need arises. Indeed, cloud computing will remain to be a permanent fixture in the computing world.

Most people have an idea of what “cloud computing” is. In a nutshell, it refers to accessing documents, information and applications online rather than storing things on hard drives. Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud, and Salesforce.com are all examples.

Although countless businesses worldwide have been accessing their data on the cloud for several years, some are still hesitant. A few reasons for resisting the move to cloud computing include:

  • Downtime. “What if my documents become unavailable right when I’m about to make an important pitch to a client?”

  • Security. “Do I know for sure that my important data won’t get hacked?”

  • Costs. “We have enough business costs. Can we really afford one more monthly service fee?”

(Via: http://www.wral.com/cloud-computing-the-environmental-pros-and-cons/16126937/)

So yes, there are data issues in using the cloud. And considering that the cloud supports the function of numerous big companies on the web, issues involving data security should be a reason for concern to all of us.

If you’re a small business owner, you’ve heard a lot about cloud computing in the last few years. You may even be thinking about taking your enterprise into the cloud right now.

Cloud computing, the process of storing data and running software applications offsite on remote servers, has taken off because it provides a high level of productivity and convenience.

Is Cloud Computing Safe?

The assumption that by putting your data in the cloud you’re essentially “hanging it out to the wind” is a false one. In fact, in most cases, storing your data in the cloud is safer than storing it on local servers or in hard copy. Hard copies and local servers can be stolen during break-ins and local servers may be targeted by hackers just as cloud servers are. In fact, data stored in the cloud is less likely to be hacked than that stored locally because the security protocols used by reputable cloud providers are so good now. The very survival of a cloud platform as a business hinges on its ability to keep data safe. Take the case of Amazon Web Service (AWS), the world’s largest cloud provider. AWS uses hundreds of security controls to keep client data safe, including data encryption. The platform serves over a million customers, including Amazon’s giant retail operation.

Smaller providers also have robust security measures in place and the reputable ones have great track records in cloud security. Check out their reputations by doing internet research (look at each company’s client base and testimonials, if available), reading trade journals or by talking to tech experts.

The question now is this, how can you secure your data once it is on the cloud?

  • Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication systems are your first line of defense when it comes to security.

  • Train your staff to beware of phishing attacks emails or other communications which trick users into revealing security information like passwords. 

  • Many cloud platforms include login and activity monitoring tools as part of their security measures. 

  • In addition to phishing tactics, hackers also use malware (such as Trojans) to gain access to mobile devices and computers.

  • Finally, you should strongly consider encrypting your data on the cloud.

(Via: http://security.itbusinessnet.com/article/Small-Business-Security:-Keeping-Data-Safe-in-the-Cloud-4847351)

There is no assurance that data is 100% secured on the cloud because threats are just around the corner. We have seen things like phishing and ransomware really throw organizations into disarray. We all know that by now. It’s the reason why you should take measures yourself in protecting your data, whether it is on the cloud or on your computer hard drive. Data loss is possible whether through hard drive failure or a malware or virus that managed to get into your system without you knowing.

The following article Data Security On The Cloud is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

from Hard Drive Recovery Associates – Feed at https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/data-security-on-the-cloud/

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 it 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. We’re not even talking about the terrifying spectre of hard drive failure or electronics damage due to flooding. 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. While a lot of data recovery software and backup programs can be set to do their thing quickly and automatically, this is almost never done. 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.

(Via: http://www.itpro.co.uk/data-loss-prevention/28864/data-recovery-why-is-it-so-important)

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.

(Via: https://www.itwire.com/security/78665-get-data-recovery-skills-or-be-%E2%80%9Ctaken%E2%80%9D-by-ransomware.html)

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, Hard Drive Recovery Associates 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.

What’s All The Fuss About Data Recovery was first published to HDRA

from Hard Drive Recovery Associates – Feed https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/whats-all-the-fuss-about-data-recovery/

Fixing A Corrupted Hard Drive Without Tools

The computer needs the hard drive in order to store and retrieve data needed by its user. It is a non-volatile memory hardware that also goes by the name HD, HDD, or hard disk drive. These devices are set up so that they work even when the computer is off.  It is comprised of one or several platters within an air-sealed casing where you write data through a magnetic head. A data cable connects the hard drive to the computer and a separate power cable leading to the power supply. Hard drives contain all sorts of created or downloaded files as well as support software programs and the operating system used. Because these hard drives are mechanical devices, their parts can wear out after a while, which can cause catastrophic hard drive crash issues.

Hard drives contain movable parts making it prone to mechanical hard drive failure. It can easily sustain corrupted areas on some parts because of overexposure to static electricity as data is written on spinning platters. You can still see it as a disk but are unable to access it once the hard drive becomes corrupted. And because it contains precious data more often than not, you are probably wondering how you can recover this lost data if ever it is possible at all.

If the hard drive you’re trying fix contains your important data, then you should use a data recovery software to extract the photos, music, videos and other files before they’re gone forever. Here are some great data recovery tools you can use.

Now, in order to fix a hard disk drive that’s gone rogue, we should start with the basics because we have to make sure that the hard drive is corrupt or not in the first place.

It might be possible the problem was nothing but a loose screw, and we repaired the whole bicycle. Here are some ways which might help you repair corrupted hard drive.

Check the power supply

If you’re using an external hard drive, then it’s possible that the storage media is taking the power from the USB port itself. Try to unplug the hard drive and connect it again in the process of hard drive fix. You can also try another USB port on your computer, maybe the one you’re using isn’t working properly. Make sure haven’t disabled your USB ports.

(Via: https://fossbytes.com/repair-corrupted-hard-drive-fix-disk/)

Unknown to many, hard drives actually have a hardware monitoring system known as S.M.A.R.T. that is built-in in computer desktops although you can’t easily check its status in Windows. Fortunately, you can see it through the WMIC or the Windows Management Instrumentation Command-line) in CMD or the utility CrystalDiskInfo as an alternate option that gives you an idea how well your hard drive is doing.

To keep it simple, there are two different ways to retrieve corrupted data: using a data recovery software tool and getting help from a professional data recovery service provider.

In some cases the damage is not that severe and data recovery software can successfully find fragmented parts of the file on other sectors of the disk and rebuild it.

Be warned, though, as DIY data recovery is always a risky business. Using data recovery software (as well as trying other DIY methods) can be hazardous when used incorrectly. As a rule, these tools shouldn’t be used on the original drive – instead they should be used with an image or copy of the drive. By doing so, there is still a chance for data recovery experts to forge a successful recovery if DIY attempts fail. What’s more, it prevents more damage to the drive and eliminates the chance of destroying the files for good. Files recovered by software tools should also not be written back to the original volume until they have been fully tested and verified.

(Via: https://www.krollontrack.co.uk/blog/making-data-simple/find-out-how-data-gets-corrupted-and-how-it-can-be-recovered/)

Losing precious data can get on your nerves and bring out the worst in you but try to keep calm and stay level-headed or risk inflicting more damage to your already failing hard drive. Aside from the use of certain software, a sure-fire way to fix a corrupted hard drive is by hiring professional data recovery engineers that won’t only help you recover lost data and rebuild corrupted files but even repair the damage to make your hard drive usable again using highly specialized tools and their extensive understanding of hard drives and computer systems.

If ever you see a hard drive error popping on your screen, we hope this can help so it doesn’t get worse over time. While there is a possibility you can get your lost data back, there is also a likelihood that you won’t, so be cautious when using it and also be wary of signs that indicate it may fail you sooner rather than later.

The post Fixing A Corrupted Hard Drive Without Tools was initially published to http://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/

from Hard Drive Recovery Associates – Feed https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/fixing-a-corrupted-hard-drive/

Level Up Your Computer Memory With A New SSD

Most computer and laptop owners are aware that their gadgets have a hard drive in place, where data and files are saved and stored. Some even go to great lengths and purchase a backup – an external hard drive where they transfer precious data to free up space on the computer’s hard drive itself. This can lessen the blow of any kind of hard drive crash. It is important always to understand how to tell if hard drive is failing fast, so you can fix the problem before it gets hairy.

What many are not aware of, there are other storage options for your computer aside from the conventional hard drives we know of. If you haven’t heard of an SSD or a Solid State Drive, now is the best time to give it a try and enjoy the same benefits offered by a hard drive and some more minus the minor flaws of using an HDD.

If your new Windows 10 computer takes a long time to boot up, that’s likely because it runs on a regular hard drive. This is also the case of most older computers. Do you know that replacing that hard drive with a solid-state drive (SSD) will make the machine run much faster? It’s true, a 5-year-old computer with an SSD boots much faster than even a brand new rig running on a regular hard drive. The good news is that swapping out the drives is quite easy to do and not too expensive either, thanks to the fact that SSDs are now much more affordable than they were a few years ago.

(Via: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-upgrade-ssd-windows-10/)

There is good news about SSDs and you are probably wondering what’s in it for you – a regular computer/ laptop user.

Hard drives are getting a much deserved kick in the pants with Intel’s new Optane Memory.

The processor maker claims its newest technology will give old-school spinning drives solid-state drive-like (SSD) speeds today and eventually transform computer storage forever. 

Intel Optane Memory might sound like RAM, but it’s actually a specialized storage product that hooks up to the M.2 storage slot (PCIe Gen 3.0×2) on a PC motherboard. You’ll find them on the latest motherboards designed for Intel’s latest 7th generation, or Kaby Lake, processors and the 200 series Intel chipset.

The connected storage drive endows you with 16GB or 32GB of Optane Memory for blazing fast cache.

Cache that can make, say, your 1TB, 7,200 rpm spinning hard drive twice as responsive in performing daily tasks and booting up or launch your browser up to five times faster. Oh, and how about 67% and 65% reductions in game app launch and game level load times, respectively?

(Via: http://www.techradar.com/news/intel-optane-memory-looks-to-give-traditional-hard-drives-a-serious-speed-boost)

And Intel is offering everyone a chance to upgrade their computer’s storage with an SSD that promises to work even better than the good old hard drive. Certainly on a speed level, this is almost always the case. But as for robustness and stability, the old school HDDs still hold the power. And yet, a new SSD can store data for an even longer time without the constant risk of data loss.

It definitely feels like Intel is on to something here, for the simple reason that most computer users look for the larger hard drive. It’s one of the most important factors to the casual user, and they definitely notice when storage space is lacking. What system builders know is that using an SSD improves the minute-to-minute usability and responsiveness of any system, to the point that we’ve taken to harshly criticize modern systems that don’t at least offer it as an option.
The bottom line is that Intel is offering up a product that makes some impressive promises to a market that already had to answer them.

(Via: http://www.digitaltrends.com/computing/intels-optane-memory-promises-to-kick-slow-hdds-in-the-pants/)

There’s no harm in trying this technology from Intel. Technology is evolving. Newer developments are designed to help us keep up with the various technological advancements the best way we can. And we will never really know if something works unless we give it a try. SSDs have been here for a while. Your computing and data needs will tell you whether you can benefit more from an SDD or an HDD.

The following blog article Level Up Your Computer Memory With A New SSD was initially seen on The Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

from Hard Drive Recovery Associates – Feed https://www.harddrivefailurerecovery.net/level-up-your-computer-memory-with-a-new-ssd/

Why Buy An External Hard Drive In 2021?

Our daily life revolves around the multiple use of technology. From smartphone use to the use of household appliances, we all have learned to incorporate their use in our daily lives. Back in the days, only a handful of people had personal computers or laptops of their own. There was really no need to own one since there was not much to do with it aside from encoding data and files. However, a lot has changed today that owning one simply is a must.

All computers and laptops have a built-in hard drives albeit not that big when you consider the sheer amount of video and music that we store on hard drives today. Storage space may be somehow limited; it is why computer and laptop owners who require plenty of storage purchase an external hard drive where they can save and store extra files. Having an external hard drive also protects your files from cyber criminals who are after your precious data. If used for backup, it can ensure that a hard drive failure doesn’t destroy all of your data forever. They are not flawless, however.

One afternoon last fall, Kevin, an engineer who works for a Florida power company, was quickly checking emails on his home computer when he spotted what he thought was a message containing the mailing label he needed to return some headphones he had recently bought.

The attachment came up blank, so he moved on. Soon his computer began to run a little sluggishly. Then, three hours later, his screensaver—a photo from a South Pacific vacation he and his wife had enjoyed—disappeared. When he checked the directory holding all his photos, he was startled to find them all renamed with strings of gibberish.
ALSO ON HIS SCREEN was an icon for a document he didn’t recognize. He clicked on it and panicked as he read a chilling message: “All of your files are encrypted,” it began. And they would be lost to him forever unless he made a ransom payment of $2,400.

This is a reality an unfortunate few experiences when they encounter experienced cyber criminals who will take advantage of you and your computer’s vulnerability. If you haven’t protected your data or stored a backup somewhere else, then you’re a goner. There are tons of places online, including Google Drive, where you can easily back stuff up. Do it today, and don’t be a Kevin!

What happened to Kevin and thousands of other people last year could easily happen to you. Your computer or smartphone could be attacked by what’s known as ransomware, a fast-growing online scourge that can cost you thousands of dollars if you pay to regain your files—and thousands of dollars if you don’t. Also at stake: documents critical to your business or personal finances, priceless family photos, and the days or weeks you might spend trying to replace what you have lost. Want to recover your photos or financial records? You could be ordered to pay anywhere from $200 to $10,000—the range of ransom money typically demanded of individuals, according to a recent IBM Security survey. And nearly a quarter of businesses hit by a ransomware attack end up paying $40,000 or more. As the Department of Homeland Security warned last year, ransomware’s effect can be “devastating.”

Ransomware has spread with terrifying speed. This type of malware—short for “malicious software”—accounted for fewer than 2% of emails with malicious links or attachments in the fall of 2015, according to PhishMe, a cybersecurity firm. By last fall, ransomware’s share had zoomed to a shocking 97%. Total ransomware losses in the U.S. hit $1 billion in 2016, up from $24 million in 2015, the FBI estimated.

(Via: http://time.com/money/page/ransomware-remove-prevention/)

It is never wise to store all your important files in one place. So if you have the money to spare, buying an external hard drive can save you from all these headaches. You have somewhere safe to store all your important documents, photos, and even songs and movies that you painstakingly downloaded from the web.

It may not be a widely celebrated holiday, but World Backup Day — celebrated on Mar. 31, just ahead of April Fools’ Day — aims to encourage computer users to regularly back up their data.
That appears to be something many users don’t do.
CBC Radio technology columnist Dan Misener explains why it’s important, and offers some strategies to keep data safe and secure.
It’s a day all about backup awareness, and getting more people to start backing up their computers if they don’t already, or — for those who do — to take a serious look at their backup strategy, and make sure it’s up to snuff.

Why is there a need to backup your computer?

Whenever I talk about the importance of backup, I always think about my friends Mike and Catherine, who lost every single photo of their twin sons’ first year because of a hard drive crash.
We’re talking about protecting your most precious digital documents. The kind of stuff that’s heartbreaking to lose, because it simply can’t be replaced.
And to be clear, backups don’t just protect against hard drive crashes — there are many, many ways to lose data. You can lose data in natural disasters like floods or fires, for example. Or you can lose data if your computer is stolen.
And then there’s ransomware.

(Via: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/world-backup-day-1.3510588)

Those are just some of the reasons why backing up your computer with an external hard drive, for instance, can save your files/ data (and even your life). Make a conscious effort to protecting your data because the web is not a safe place at all and that hackers are just around the corner waiting for you to click that one suspicious spam mail that can be your undoing.

Invest in your data security and free yourself from the constant worries of cyber crimes that happen all around you with the help of a trusted external hard drive where you can transfer and store important files from your phone, tablet, laptop, and computer. You’ll be more than glad that you did!

Why Buy An External Hard Drive In 2021? See more on: Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

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Data Security On The Cloud

As we attempt to speed up transactions – whether in the government or in private companies – the processes of all offices and agencies are centralized and thus computerized. Like any form of technology, centralizing data and files has its pros and cons. It means that people in the same agency can access or modify the same file with just a few clicks regardless of location. It also greatly increases the likelihood that you won’t face a personal or business hard drive failure that ensures not only panic, but real problems.

But as the number of computer users increases, the demand for servers to accommodate data storage and security also rises. It is why cloud computing came into existence – to defy the usual physical limitations we face when it comes to communication and computing. With data on the cloud, we free our computer’s hard drives from the burden of storing such a large number of files yet still allow us to access it whenever the need arises. Indeed, cloud computing will remain to be a permanent fixture in the computing world.

Most people have an idea of what “cloud computing” is. In a nutshell, it refers to accessing documents, information and applications online rather than storing things on hard drives. Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud, and Salesforce.com are all examples.

Although countless businesses worldwide have been accessing their data on the cloud for several years, some are still hesitant. A few reasons for resisting the move to cloud computing include:

  • Downtime. “What if my documents become unavailable right when I’m about to make an important pitch to a client?”

  • Security. “Do I know for sure that my important data won’t get hacked?”

  • Costs. “We have enough business costs. Can we really afford one more monthly service fee?”

(Via: http://www.wral.com/cloud-computing-the-environmental-pros-and-cons/16126937/)

So yes, there are data issues in using the cloud. And considering that the cloud supports the function of numerous big companies on the web, issues involving data security should be a reason for concern to all of us.

If you’re a small business owner, you’ve heard a lot about cloud computing in the last few years. You may even be thinking about taking your enterprise into the cloud right now.

Cloud computing, the process of storing data and running software applications offsite on remote servers, has taken off because it provides a high level of productivity and convenience.

Is Cloud Computing Safe?

The assumption that by putting your data in the cloud you’re essentially “hanging it out to the wind” is a false one. In fact, in most cases, storing your data in the cloud is safer than storing it on local servers or in hard copy. Hard copies and local servers can be stolen during break-ins and local servers may be targeted by hackers just as cloud servers are. In fact, data stored in the cloud is less likely to be hacked than that stored locally because the security protocols used by reputable cloud providers are so good now. The very survival of a cloud platform as a business hinges on its ability to keep data safe. Take the case of Amazon Web Service (AWS), the world’s largest cloud provider. AWS uses hundreds of security controls to keep client data safe, including data encryption. The platform serves over a million customers, including Amazon’s giant retail operation.

Smaller providers also have robust security measures in place and the reputable ones have great track records in cloud security. Check out their reputations by doing internet research (look at each company’s client base and testimonials, if available), reading trade journals or by talking to tech experts.

The question now is this, how can you secure your data once it is on the cloud?

  • Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication systems are your first line of defense when it comes to security.

  • Train your staff to beware of phishing attacks emails or other communications which trick users into revealing security information like passwords. 

  • Many cloud platforms include login and activity monitoring tools as part of their security measures. 

  • In addition to phishing tactics, hackers also use malware (such as Trojans) to gain access to mobile devices and computers.

  • Finally, you should strongly consider encrypting your data on the cloud.

(Via: http://security.itbusinessnet.com/article/Small-Business-Security:-Keeping-Data-Safe-in-the-Cloud-4847351)

There is no assurance that data is 100% secured on the cloud because threats are just around the corner. We have seen things like phishing and ransomware really throw organizations into disarray. We all know that by now. It’s the reason why you should take measures yourself in protecting your data, whether it is on the cloud or on your computer hard drive. Data loss is possible whether through hard drive failure or a malware or virus that managed to get into your system without you knowing.

The following article Data Security On The Cloud is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

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Data Recovery Service Provider Explains How to Choose an E-Reader in New Blog Post

Hard Drive Recovery Associates, a data recovery service company based in Irvine, California, has recently published an article on its website that offers advice on how to choose an e-reader for oneself. With the pandemic, people who love reading books are restricted from going to the library. And purchasing books from the bookstore is inconvenient not just because of the pandemic but also due to the large amount of space that physical books will require in the home. Fortunately, there is the e-book alternative and with people finding themselves having a lot of free time at home, they can indulge in reading their favorite books in e-book form and using an e-reader, such as a Kindle, Kobo, Nook, or even using an e-reader app on their tablet or smartphone. The question is which of these e-readers are appropriate for a particular person.

There are actually a number of factors to consider when making the appropriate choice. One of these key factors is screen size and the actual physical size of the gadget. The device should be light enough in weight so that it doesn’t become a hassle to hold for long periods of time while reading. And the screen size should be enough to allow one to adjust the text size to allow easy reading. The problem with the screens of smartphones and tablets is that they are not truly effective in minimizing glare, which could cause a lot of strain on the eyes. E-readers like Nook, Kobo, and Kindle use e-ink and other similar technologies to reduce glare and make e-book reading easier on the eyes. In addition, e-readers have been designed specifically to make it easy to hold them even when reading for long periods of time.

Meanwhile, e-readers are usually more energy efficient than other gadgets like tablets and smartphones. Some may even allow reading for several weeks on just one charge of the battery. However, it is still a good idea to check on the battery life of a particular e-reader before buying it. Modern e-readers now have a frontlight but this could be a substantial drain on the battery. Thus, it is always important to check on battery life for those conditions when Wi-Fi and the frontlight are turned on.

Jack Edwards from Hard Drive Recovery Associates says, “We hope that this blog post has provided you with valuable information on how to choose your own e-reader. Using an appropriate e-reader can provide you with hours of reading enjoyment, much like reading from a physical book. However, there is also the possibility of losing those e-book files. Fortunately, we can help you recover those files.”

Hard Drive Recovery Associates provides a service that helps people recover valuable data that they are unable to access because the hard drive containing those files had crashed or failed. Those valuable files may not even be replaceable, such as family photos, important documents, composed music, drafts of books being written, and more. The data recovery service that the company can provide can help people avoid the stress and panic that they often feel when their hard drive fails. Fortunately, their recovery rate for desktop and laptop hard drives is 98 percent. And they will not charge the client if they are unable to recover the hard drive data.

The company offers free evaluation and this can be requested by calling them on the phone or by filling an online form on their site. Aside from providing data recovery services for desktop and laptop hard drives, they can also recover data from MacBooks, iMacs, iPhones, and iPads.

For business enterprises, they can provide data recovery solutions for RAIDs and servers. Servers continue to be the primary way of storing computer data for enterprises, even with the increasing popularity of cloud computing. Servers and RAIDs are more robust when it comes to protecting data, but a server or RAID may still crash or fail. They provide a specialized 24-hour drop shipment program so that business enterprises to have their server or RAID functioning properly against as soon as possible.

Those who are in need of a data recovery services provider can check out the Hard Drive Recovery Associates website, or contact them via the telephone, or through email. They are open 24/7 to ensure that those who need emergency data recovery can access their service.

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Keep the Heat Out of Your Laptop, Among Very Sensible Guidelines in Owning a Laptop

If there’s anything your laptop hates, it’s not you. It’s actually the heat. Increased temperatures compromise your laptop’s performance, so you best be prepared on knowing how to prevent your device from getting “fried.” Also, here are some tips that you should already know as someone who uses a laptop regularly.

Back ‘Em Up (Those Files, That Is)

As an owner of a laptop, desktop, or whatever computing device you may have as of the moment (although some rules do not really apply to smartphones as they are in their own peculiar universe), the cardinal rule you have to bear in mind and never forget are these four words:

BACK UP YOUR DATA.

Now that I’ve said it, that rule very much applies to smartphones as well, although the effort in backing up on these devices are not that pronounced since there are apps that do the job automatically for you. But yes, it is true that while in the past, the most valuable part of your computer is the hardware itself, nowadays, the bits and bytes of data you use in them have become extraordinarily valuable to priceless levels. You surely have invested large sums of money on buying MP3 files, e-books, and movies, not to mention the hours you’ve spent slaving away in writing and finishing those documents and other files. And if in the event that you don’t have a back-up for them and your device goes kaput, those thousands of dollars and countless hours will just go down the drain.

Your options for back-up come in the form of traditional backup software and hardware. They’re more affordable than cloud-based services, but they’re also more susceptible to events such as fire, theft, inclement weather, and the like. On the other hand, cloud-based backup services may cost more if you are planning to go beyond their free versions, but the peace of mind and security they offer is priceless.

Online backup services scan your hard drive for files worthy of protecting, encrypt them for security, and send them up to the company’s online servers. Once your files are uploaded, you can access and restore your data from anywhere. Though there’s some overlap, online backup services shouldn’t be confused with cloud storage and file syncing services like Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive, and SugarSync. Those services do store files in the cloud, but they aren’t designed to automatically protect all important documents and media files, let alone system files.

(Via: https://sea.pcmag.com/storage/10573/the-best-online-backup-services-for-2020)

Critical Software Needs Regular Updating

In the past, it used to be that updating software regularly may not be a must. But with malware, viruses, worms, and heightened online security breaches happening every single day, events such as software conflicts and hardware incompatibilities have also become regular happenings. Thus, it goes without saying that updating your devices with fixes, drivers, and patches are things you should be on top of regularly so you keep these threats that are also mutating regularly at bay. There are even programs that provide system owners like you the most convenient ways of updating your software, so don’t miss out on getting their services. A lot of these services do not need you to do anything, as they will do the updating on your behalf in an automatic fashion. Imagine being a responsible computer owner without putting in too much effort? That’s a definite yes if you ask me.

Software updates offer plenty of benefits. It’s all about revisions. These might include repairing security holes that have been discovered and fixing or removing computer bugs. Updates can add new features to your devices and remove outdated ones.

(Via: https://us.norton.com/internetsecurity-how-to-the-importance-of-general-software-updates-and-patches.html) 

Stay Clean, Keep Cool

Like with most other things, the cleaner your device is, the better it runs. When your plumbing system is clean and free of blockages, your water supply is better. When your dryer is free of lint, your clothes get drier, faster. If your engine doesn’t have fuel residue, your car run smoothly. The same goes with your laptop. The fans of your computer would need to be free of dirt so that the functioning components of your device are kept cool and running. When the fans are dirty, they do a bad job in making your device cool, and when your device gets hotter than it should ideally be, you’re going to have problems.

Dust, dog hair, spiders, whatever finds its way into your case will raise the temperatures significantly over time and can cause some real damage to your components. Let’s not be too dramatic, your system will still work but you can be sure your components will never last as long as a periodically cleaned computer.

(Via: https://www.wepc.com/how-to/stop-your-pc-overheating/)

If you still didn’t know these tips, well at least, now you know. Now, if you have other problems with your laptop such as a device that has water spilled on it, we’re here to help.

The following blog post Keep the Heat Out of Your Laptop, Among Very Sensible Guidelines in Owning a Laptop Read more on: The Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog

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