Motive For Ransomware?

As governments and organizations around the world grappled on Wednesday with the impact of a cyberattack that froze computers and demanded a ransom for their release, victims received a clear warning from security experts not to pay a dime in the hopes of getting back their data.

The hackers’ email address was shut down and they had lost the ability to communicate with their victims, and by extension, to restore access to computers. If the hackers had wanted to collect ransom money, said cybersecurity experts, their attack was an utter failure. That is, if that was actually their goal.

Increasingly sophisticated ransomware assaults now have cybersecurity experts questioning what the attackers are truly after. Is it money? Mayhem? Delivering a political message?

In the attack that hit computers from Ukraine to the United States on Tuesday, financial gain may be the least likely motive.

“Either it was a sophisticated actor who knew what they were doing — except screwed up horribly on the part where they actually get paid,” said Nicholas Weaver, a researcher at the International Computer Science Institute and a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, “or it wasn’t about the ransom in the first place.”

Ransomware, one of the oldest and most prolific forms of cyberattack, relies on encrypting a victims’ files, essentially locking them out of their own computer systems, until they pay a ransom. Last year, cybersecurity researchers estimate that criminals made over $1 billion through ransomware, with victims ranging from the chief executives of Fortune 500 companies to mom-and-pop businesses and private individuals.

The attack on Tuesday, like a similar assault in May called WannaCry, spread wider and faster than previous forms of known ransomware. But combined, they barely banked $100,000.

WannaCry spread by combining traditional ransomware with a worm, or a mechanism by which the attack could quickly grow. It was the first of its kind, said cybersecurity researchers, in that its goal appeared to be spreading as quickly as possible, rather than to successfully collect ransoms from victims. The attack on Tuesday is being called by different names, including Petya, NotPetya and GoldenEye.

Whatever its name is, it was built for speed. It spread across systems, exploiting a single unprotected machine to then infect machines across a network.

WannaCry’s spread was halted by an independent cybersecurity researcher, who discovered that by registering a single domain for about $10 he could stop the attack in its tracks. Though Tuesday’s assault does not appear to have finished, it is no longer likely to generate significant payments, because a German email provider shut down the email address associated with the ransom.

“They are no longer collecting a ransom,” said Justin Harvey, managing director of global incident response at Accenture Security. “They are just being destructive.”

When criminals stage a ransomware to make money, they set up multiple avenues to collect funds from their victims, Mr. Harvey said. By contrast, the recent, widespread attacks used “immature” methods, like a single email address and a single Bitcoin wallet for electronic payments. But considerable attention was paid to the technical details of launching the attacks and ensuring they would spread as fast as possible. Security researchers said the attack on Tuesday originated in Ukraine, seemingly timed to hit a day before a holiday marking the 1996 adoption of Ukraine’s first constitution. More than 12,500 machines in the country were targeted, according to Microsoft, though the online attack spread to 64 other countries.

While law enforcement officials struggled to determine who was behind the attack, Microsoft said the assailants initially focused on software run by M.E.Doc, a Ukrainian company specializing in tax accountancy. M.E.Doc acknowledged that its servers had been affected and said in a statement that it was cooperating with Ukrainian cyberpolice.

Strengthening Your PC Security In The Wake of WannaCry

Earlier this month, a lot of computer users woke up to a nightmare. The WannaCry ransomware attacked and became an international news story because it quickly spread and infected over 230,000 computers in more than 150 countries worldwide. One of the believed reasons as to why it spread so quickly was because of unpatched and older Microsoft Windows systems.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, ransomware is malware or malicious software that is designed specifically to lock or “encrypt” files on your computer or network without your knowledge or consent. The software then demands payment in exchange for program that unlocks your encrypted data in order to make it visible or functional once more.

This unlocking is done through an anonymous, untraceable and universal currency called Bitcoin. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to reverse the damage done without either reverting to backups or paying the ransom (often ranging from $300 to $1000+). There is no guarantee you will be able to recover any or all of your files even after paying the ransom. Ransomware is effective because it often arrives via an infected email attachment, like a Microsoft Word or Excel document, appearing to be from someone you know. Once you open the attachment on a vulnerable computer, it starts to run and can lock the files on your computer and network server without your knowledge.

Let’s take a look at some tips to up the security of your personal computer.

1.) Update Windows security updates immediately

The WannaCry ransomware affects Microsoft operating systems, including newer Windows 7 and 8 and older versions of Vista, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

If you have a more recent version of Windows, you will be protected from WannaCry as long as the most up-to-date security updates are installed. More recent versions of the Windows operating systems include Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2016.

2.) Enable automatic software updates

All software has bugs and vulnerabilities. Software developers like Microsoft must release software and security updates regularly for operating systems and software applications.

Always keep automatic updates turned on for computers and mobile devices to minimize exposure to a breach. This allows for computers and devices to be updated quickly and usually automatically as soon as updates and patches become available.

3.) Scan suspicious files and email attachments online

The most important lesson from the WannaCry ransomware outbreak is to always be diligent and extremely careful when opening ANY and ALL email attachments. If you are suspicious of a file or link that was sent to you, you can scan it using an online antivirus service.

One good example is VirusTotal, a free online service that analyzes suspicious files and URLs and quickly detects viruses, works, trojans and most types of malware. It scans files, URLs, domains and IP addresses using 40+ different antivirus scanners. If you receive an unsolicited email from someone you know or don’t know, and it has an attachment (often claiming to be something important), always double check before opening.

4.) Always back up important files

Ensure important files are being saved to your network shared or personal folder(s). If you have a standalone computer, ensure files are backed up to an external backup disk drive or to an online cloud-based backup service. Note that many variants of ransomware can infect external backup hard drives — so ideally disconnect these drives when not in use.

Nothing is 100 per cent safe and the best protection is common sense and double-checking before opening ANY email attachment or clicking ANY link received via email.

5.) Always have anti-malware software on your system

If you have up-to-date antivirus software installed on your computer, it may not detect all forms of malware. There are almost 12 million new malware variants discovered every month, with more newer malware in the past two years than the previous decade.

If you are running Windows 10, it comes with Windows Defender, which has new security features to detect and prevent viruses and malware from infecting your PC. Unfortunately, the default settings are not optimized for security.

ISPs and Cyber Security

The security industry has often debated what the role the Internet Service Providers (ISPs) should take when it comes to cyber security.

Should they be proactive in their protection of their customers with upstream security controls and filters (intrusion prevention systems, malware detection, etc.) or should customers be held solely responsible for their own security? ISPs can have a much wider impact on overall state security because of their advantageous position in the network (that is, acting as our doorway to the Internet). Still, there are good arguments against ISPs taking too much of a security role — many of which a lot of experts agree with. Ultimately, they believe there is one thing IPSs must do to improve everyone’s security, but before we get into that, let us start with the arguments against ISPs taking too strong of a role.

Badly managed security controls can disrupt business or legitimate activities.
If you’ve ever used an intrusion detection or prevention solution, you know they occasionally have false positives. These false positives can block legitimate traffic from paying customers. Although a normal business can manage these, doing so for thousands if not tens of thousands of customers would be a logistic nightmare.

Some security can invade privacy.
Many security controls not only monitor where you go on the Internet but also deeply analyze the content of your traffic and log all activity for later forensic analysis. This opens up the possibility of ISPs using this data for other reasons (although technically, they could be doing this anyway). Still, giving ISPs access to more information about people’s Web browsing worries Internet privacy supporters.

ISPs can’t take liability for your own mistakes.
Simply put, we can’t hold ISPs liable for our security because they can’t control their customers. Even if an organization has the best security controls in the world, its people can still do dumb things that get them infected. For ISPs to get involved in security at all, we have to allow them to do so without liability for all our security issues.

Where would ISPs security stop?
Should ISPs just monitor our traffic for known bad stuff? Should they firewall us? Should they enable intrusion prevention to block exploits? Should they filter bad sites? Should they scan our networks for vulnerabilities and block devices that haven’t been patched? Setting up regulations to keep ISPs from going too far down this slippery slope would be another serious logistical challenge.

As far as preventative security controls go, experts think ISPs can offer optional security services, but ultimately should leave it to their customers to decide whether to protect themselves or not. However, there is one thing all ISPs should do to protect everyone today: block IP address spoofing.

IP address spoofing is a very old and simple attack in which a malicious computer sends a network packet with a false source IP address. IP spoofing offers limited value in normal attacks, because when you send packets claiming to be from another computer, that other computer gets the replies, not you. However, IP spoofing does play a big role in one type of attack: distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks. A reflective DDoS attack sends queries to particular services pretending to be the IP address of its victim. Those services will send large replies back to the victim and will overwhelm them with traffic.

By definition, ISPs have full knowledge of the public IP addresses we all receive, and know which ones belong on their networks. With this information, IP spoofing is dead simple to detect and block. In fact, for decades there have been common Internet standards and best common practices that detail exactly how network providers can prevent IP address spoofing by configuring routing devices to validate source addresses and block spoofed traffic. If all the ISPs followed these long-held best practices, they would greatly lessen certain types of DDoS attacks without adversely affecting their customer’s networks.

The Things Your ISP Can Do Once The FCC Privacy Rules Are Repealed

The topic that has been on the mind of countless internet users lately is the FCC privacy rules. If you aren’t familiar with it, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) set up some rules that protects the privacy of internet users in the US. Their rules made it so your Internet Service Provider (ISP) would be unable to monetize their clients without express consent.

However, Congress is well on its way to repeal those rules and allow ISPs full access to their client’s information without needing their permission. Today, we’re going to discuss the different things that your ISP will be able to do once the FCC rules are repealed.

Sell Your Data To Marketers

Several ISPs have already expressed the idea that they’re sitting on a veritable gold mine of user data that they do want to sell to marketers. What some people may not realize is that some are already doing it.

SAP sells a service called Consumer Insights 365 that ingests regularly updated data representing as many as 300 cellphone events per day for each of the 20 to 25 million mobile subscribers. The service also combines data from telecos with other information, telling businesses whether shoppers are checking out competitor prices.

Marketers need to build consumer profiles on people to efficiently target ads that will practically ensure a sale. This data will only be available if the ISPs sell this information to them. If the FCC rules are fully repealed, this exchange which effectively monetize the clients of ISP shall be a reality.

Hijack Search Results

This occurrence was already recorded in 2011 where several ISPs were caught working with a company named Paxfire to hijack their clients’ search queries to Bing, Yahoo!, and Google.

Whenever a client would enter a search term in their browser’s search box or URL bar, the ISP directed that query to Paxfire instead to an actual search engine. Paxfire then checked what the clients were searching for to see if it matched a list of companies that had paid them for more traffic. If the queries matched one of several such companies or brands, Paxfire would then send clients directly to that company’s website instead of sending them to a search engine which normally would list several results.

In other words, ISPs were effectively hijacking their customer’s search queries and redirecting them to a place customers hadn’t asked for all the while pocketing a little cash from the process.

Sift Through Net Traffic and Insert Ads

AT&T, Charter, and CMA have been caught doing this before. When the FCC privacy rules are repealed, ISPs have every incentive to snoop through clients’ traffic, record their browsing history, and inject ads into their traffic based on this information.

Have you ever noticed this: after searching for something on Google then logging on to Facebook, the ads are now reflecting deals and ads related to the search result of what you looked for?

You can agree that this if pretty invasive and it is this information that companies use to target potential clients.

Putting In Pre-installed Software On Phones

We’re not going to mince words on this one. The pre-installed software? It’s going to spyware. When an android phone is bought, it’s expected that it’s going to come with bloatware. These are apps installed by the manufacturer that buyers will probably never use. What is sinister about this is that some of these apps will now come pre-installed software that will log which apps are used and what websites you visit and this data is sent back to your ISP.

Carrier IQ is one such app. This app came pre-installed in phones sold by AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Such an app gives your ISP a window into all that you do on your phone.

Putting In Undetectable Tracking Cookies In Your HTTP Traffic That Cannot Be Deleted

Back in 2014, Verizon Wireless decided that it was a good thing to insert supercookies into all of its mobile customer’s traffic. It was a feature that could not be turned off by the users.

One would think that using incognito mode would solve the privacy issue but you would be wrong.

Verizon ignored all this and inserted a unique identifier into all your unencrypted outbound traffic anyway. According to the FCC, it wasn’t until “two years after Verizon Wireless first began inserting UIDH, that the company updated its privacy policy to disclose its use of UIDH and began to offer consumers the opportunity to opt-out of the insertion of unique identifier headers into their Internet traffic.”

As a result, anyone—not just advertisers—could track you as you browsed the web. Even if you cleaned out the cookies, advertisers could make use of Verizon’s tracking header to revive them.

This is why the FCC privacy rules are very important. They protect the rights to privacy of users and in the same vein, protect their cyber security. If congress successfully repeals the FCC privacy rules, you can fully expect these practices to be resurrected and there’s very little clients can do about it.

Five PC Security Tips For Your Employees

When work is more efficient through computers, it is important for any boss to be fully aware of the possible dangers to the company’s cyber security. When data is often the target of criminals it takes more than just good software to keep them out. Today, we discuss five PC security tips that you can share with your employees.

Always log out

This is one of the most overlooked tips that can protect any company’s cyber security. A lot of employees and even bosses are guilty of this. We’ve all become quite accustomed to the convenience of not having to login after coming back from yesterday’s shift or even from a short break. In the amount of time that you’ve left your details in your computer, you would have granted access to anyone who might have physically sneaked unto your computer or even to those who hijacked the PC to control it remotely.

Leaving your details in not only leaves the data stored vulnerable but it also leaves your employee’s details vulnerable as well. There’s 85% probability that the password that an employee uses for work is also the password they use for personal accounts. So to avoid that risk, always log out of all accounts whenever you’re not at your post.

Be alert and aware

This is particularly true with remote workers. If your employees have the freedom to work in co-working spaces or coffee shops, you need to tell them to always be on guard. Employees should maintain awareness of their surroundings. Employees need to keep a sharp feel out for anyone that might be watching over their shoulders or eavesdropping on any work calls.

Remind them to never leave any devices or documents that pertain to work unguarded. This means that employees must not leave their bags, parcels, laptops, and other mobile devices in their cars as well. It’s ultimately better for employees to have devices and documents under their custody at all times. Or at least, place them in a secure place when they’re not there.

Avoid using the same password

This can be applied to personal accounts as well as professional ones. For company emails, it’s best to assign generated passwords and to replace those passwords every 3 months. While it may come off as a bit of a hassle, it’s ultimately best to not get too attached to a particular password. Having impersonal and randomly generated passwords will come off as stronger and harder to guess.

Actively read up on new vulnerabilities and attacks

An employee that is armed with knowledge makes them less likely to fall pray to a cyber attack. As a boss, you need to ensure that your employees are suitably aware and educated about the different sort of online scams or attacks through an email or a link. Bosses also need to encourage their employees to be aware of new modus operandis that pop up. Subscribing to a website which discusses cyber security would more than likely always be updating on new types of attacks and scams.

A company whose employees are proactive in their defense make a good front line of defense when it comes to their cyber security.

Never download unauthorized software

Many system threats are disguised as programs that are free to download on the Web. As a boss, it’s your job to make sure that employees know that they should not allow this sort of potential threat onto network devices and terminals. Better yet, lock down the enterprise systems so that users do not have the ability to install them in the first place. Requiring admin permissions before anyone can download anything is a pretty safe security measure to take.

4 Tips To Better Protect Yourself Online

It’s hard to not need the internet these days. When you need new information, need to read or answers emails from work, get in touch with people who don’t have working phones, or even ordering something that exclusively sold online–connectivity to the internet is crucial. Criminals take this certainty and abuse it which is why everyone is vulnerable to a cyber attack. Hackers will try to steal your credit card numbers, tax records, and even passwords.

To avoid this, it’s important that you arm yourself with the necessary knowledge on how to really protect yourself when you go online. Today, we discuss four tips on how you can avoid being a victim online.

1.) Craft Strong Passwords

One of the oldest tricks in the book but still rings true to this day. Passwords should be difficult to hack and crack. To avoid building a weak password incorporate capital letters, numbers, and special characters in it. As much as possible make the password more than six words. Also, never reuse your passwords for any of your other accounts. Reusing passwords makes it very easy for unscrupulous people to gain access to more than one of your accounts.

A good example of a strong password is t1R0p!h&Y. Review your own current set of passwords and change them if they aren’t ‘strong’.

2.) Be cautious when using Instant Messaging programs

Since connectivity is all the rage, companies have constantly strove to provide the public with better instant messaging programs. This does not mean, however, that hackers do not find ways to infiltrate these programs and create bots to engage actual users.  They create various profiles to message actual users and mimic initial conversation before enticing the user to click a certain link that the bot provides. These links are often phishing attempts or worse.

To save yourself from being a victim of online bots and their dubious links, do not engage with a sudden message from strangers. A common rule of thumb for savvy instant messaging users is that they only speak to people they know or are expecting a message from.

3.) Be a sharp online shopper

Before typing in your credit card information, make sure that the website is using secure technology. The moment you visit a shop’s website and when you’re at the checkout page, make sure that the web address begins with HTTPS. This refers to Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure–having the web address start with this means that all communications between your browser and the website are encrypted.

Also, do not entertain pop-ups. Only engage with the actual tab opened in your browser. Be mindful of mimic pop-up pages that may try to get your credit card information.

4.) Be careful about how you use your email

As email is one of the primary avenues in which businesses interact with each other and with their employees, it is a treasure trove that hackers are just dying to crack into.  The trouble about email is that even if you, personally, have good PC security–your recipients may not.

So to be safe, never share sensitive information in any email. Never send your credit card information, social security number, and other private information via email.

Phishing Techniques: The 2016 Refresher Course

A common threat to your pc security is phishing. It may sound rather familiar as it’s been around for quite some time. BUT that is exactly the reason why you should be wary of it. Phishing is one of the more enduring ways in which scoundrels will aim to breach your cyber security. For the purpose of providing a more modern understanding of the phishing scam, this article discusses how it is now perpetrated with the technological developments we’ve enjoyed in the past years.

To clarify, phishing is the method where in your personal information is stolen through spam or other deceptive means. A cause of concern for this scam is that it evolves with the technology available. In order to effectively secure your information from internet phishing, it is important to have an updated knowledge of anti-phishing techniques.

Emails

When email was launched, it was to be the main way in which malware could be injected into a user’s system. This malware is usually attached to spam emails—once you click any links or any files within that email, the malware starts operating.

Search Engines

Who doesn’t use Google’s search engine nowadays, right? So it was inevitable that phishing scams would take this route as well. The scams works by directing the user to product sites that offer deals that seem too good to be true (and it is!). The less savvy pc owner may end up trying to buy a product and enter their credit card details which are the main target of the phishing sites. It is crucial for users to understand that there are fake bank websites that are tailored to look like the sites of reputable banks. These fake sites offer credit cards or loans at a very low rate so it’s important to be discerning of the sites you visit through search engine results.

Social Media Pop-ups

Whenever you access your social media pages, it is important that you keep track of which window or tab you are using. Phishing scams have evolved to the point that they can mimic your social media page quite convincingly but are in fact a pop-up or a different page entirely. If you try to interact with any of the icons of the pop-up, it’ll tell you that you have a new friend request or that you’ve been logged out and will need to sign back in. If you do, this will give phishers more information with which they can try to steal your identity.

Instant Messaging

With so many apps that feature a way to connect with strangers, it’s not unusual to get a message from a stranger who’s hoping to connect. So, phishing has evolved to incorporate even this seemingly innocuous exchange. You’re more than likely to get a message from a program, called bots, masquerading as a person and will likely send you the usual lines like “hello”. Once you engage or reply, you will receive a few odd lines and will eventually be directed to a link. Once you click it, a program will start and will infiltrate your profile and log your details like usernames and passwords which can be used to access other accounts.

Different Viruses That Threaten Your Cyber Security

Crime has been an ever-present factor in our lives. It certainly has been the bane of our existence. With the advent of computer systems and working remotely, it was inevitable that criminal intent would evolve to meet our technological advancements. From the street to the cyber age, crime has definitely caught up. Our physical selves are no longer the target; it is our information that is at risk.

Cyber security or computer security is the fortification of information systems from malicious intent or damage to the hardware, software, and the information the system holds. Disruption and misdirection of the normal process of the service provided by our computer system is also a form of attack that strong cyber security processes prevent. One of the many forms of cyber threats is a virus. A good way to protect yourself and your system from any real damage is to have a basic knowledge of the different viruses that threaten your cyber security.

The more common type of virus that attacks your cyber security is called a Macro Virus. It is a virus that is made in a programming language that is usually placed inside a software application. Most common targets are word processors and spreadsheet applications. We all do documents and accounting spreads in Microsoft Office which is why this is a common target of those will ill intent. A macro virus is usually embedded within a document and runs the moment a document is opened. This is why you should never just open attachments in e-mails. One of the key foundations of cyber security is having antivirus programs in place. They can detect a macro virus yet newer and stronger types of this virus are constantly being made so detecting them can still be difficult.

Another type of virus is called an Overwriting Virus. It is program that actively infects and destroys the original program coding of a system’s memory. They are designed to attack the operating system (OS) and to overwrite the set information. This sort of virus is determined to be more harmful as they target parts of a user’s system. This virus is acquired usually through file transfers and e-mails.

The Directory Virus does its damage by changing the paths that specify the location of a file. Often, when your system has been hit by this virus, it becomes difficult or impossible to locate the original files.

The Boot Virus attacks the boot sector of a hard disk or a bootable drive. The boot sector is a crucial part wherein the data on the disk or USB is stored along with the program that allows it start up. The best way of avoiding boot viruses that compromise your cyber security is to ensure that your portable memory drives are protected and constantly scanned. Also, never start your computer with an unknown drive attached to it.

A Direct Action Virus selects one or several files to infect every time its code is executed. Its intent is to replicate itself and to spread to other files whenever its program is activated. It often chooses files that are at the root directory of the system’s hard drive. That is the part that is responsible for doing particular actions when the system is started. In most cases, a direct action virus will not delete your system files or attempt to lower the overall performance output of your computer. It will, however, block access to certain applications and files. The most effective defense that cyber security has is a constantly running virus scanner that will not only locate and detect the virus but will destroy it as well.

Your cyber security must always have these key ingredients: an anti-virus program, an anti-spyware program, a running firewall, constantly updated system software, an anti-spam program, and up-to-date back up of your data. Having these is sure to help protect your important data from those who wish to profit from your systematic loss.

TІРЅ TO PROTECT YOUR СОMРUTЕR DАTА

TІРЅ TO PROTECT YOUR СОMРUTЕR DАTА

Imаgіnе for a ѕесоnd, уоur соmрutеr ѕуѕtеm juѕt сrаѕhеd аnd you mау have juѕt lost аll оf уоur precious dаtа. Dо уоu feel the еmрtіnеѕѕ іn your ѕtоmасh оr the lumр in your thrоаt? Hаvе you рut оff doing a bасkuр оf уоur PC fоr thе lаѕt tіmе оr will you рrосrаѕtіnаtе аgаіn? Yоu never know whеn dіѕаѕtеr mіght ѕtrіkе аnd уоu wіll nееd tо реrfоrm a ѕуѕtеm rеѕtоrе.

Whіlе you ѕіt their reading this you ѕhоuld bесоmе аwаrе оf whеrе уоu аrе backing up уоur data. Once уоu rеаlіzе that уоur dаtа is precious you ѕhоuld decide tо рrоtесt іt. Nеxt, уоu mіght аѕk, “Hоw?” аnd “Whеrе dо I backup my fіlеѕ?”.

Knоwіng whеrе tо bасkuр уоur data іѕ аn important factor in thіѕ рrосеѕѕ. Yоu wіll have ѕо mаnу сhоісеѕ but wе will whittle them down. Bеlоw are juѕt a fеw орtіоnѕ you will еnсоuntеr:

  • USB соnnесtеd ѕtоrаgе
  • Fіrеwіrе соnnесtеd ѕtоrаgе
  • Nеtwоrk connected ѕtоrаgе

Yоu wіll come асrоѕѕ storage ѕіzеѕ ranging frоm 20 GB tо 750 GB.

Thе роіnt іѕ уоu need to identify whаt YOU need. Don’t lеt аnуоnе ѕеll уоu anything уоu dоn’t need. Plаn this оut bеfоrе уоu bеgіn, it will ѕаvе уоu ѕоmе tіmе аnd money іn thе lоng run.

  • Whаt dо уоu nееd tо knоw for уоu tо рlаn this оut?
  • Hоw muсh dаtа will уоu bасkuр?
  • Will уоu be bасkіng uр уоur mр3’ѕ, рісturеѕ, vіdеоѕ, or just wоrk data?
  • Whаt еvеr dаtа уоu have dесіdеd tо bасkuр thе ѕіzе of it wіll mаttеr. Hоw many MB (mеgа bуtеѕ) does it tаkе up оn уоur hаrd drive?

Yоu may bе wondering how you can fіnd out hоw muсh ѕрасе аll оf your dаtа is tаkіng up. Wеll, fоr оnе, most реорlе kеер ѕоmе type оf fоldеr ѕtruсturе.

All уоu hаvе tо dо іѕ rіght click thе fоldеr оf сhоісе and сlісk оn properties. That gives you an іdеа оf hоw muсh ѕрасе thе еntіrе fоldеr іѕ tаkіng up. Yоu can keep a tаllу оf аll of your folders аnd іt wіll gіvе уоu an аррrоxіmаtе аmоunt of drіvе ѕрасе уоu wіll need to bасkuр уоur dаtа.

Ok, this is рrеttу ѕіmрlе but уоu don’t wаnt to gо оut аnd рurсhаѕе a drіvе thаt іѕ at the same size аѕ уоur dаtа you hаvе juѕt calculated. The rеаѕоn fоr this is because mоrе thаn likely уоur dаtа іѕ gоіng to grоw over time.

The аmоunt of grоwth іѕ gоіng to bе dеtеrmіnеd bу how often аnd how much уоu аdd tо уоur соllесtіоn оf dаtа. This grоwth wіll bе dіffеrеnt fоr еvеrу реrѕоn dереndіng оn how thеу uѕе thеіr соmрutеr. Thе іnduѕtrу ѕtаndаrd іѕ аbоut thіrtу реrсеnt grоwth реr year fоr dаtа іn many buѕіnеѕѕеѕ. That fіgurе іѕ juѕt tо give уоu an approximation tо ѕtаrt looking аt hоw muсh dаtа storage you wіll need.

Getting a рlаn tо start іѕ оnе оf the first thіngѕ уоu need to dо bеfоrе you start backing uр your data. Yоu hаvе to know whаt уоu want tо bасk up аnd where you will рut іt before уоu ѕtаrt.

Yоu ѕhоuld test уоur backups rеgulаrlу because уоu nеvеr knоw whеn уоu will nееd tо реrfоrm a ѕуѕtеm rеѕtоrе оr a desktop rеѕtоrе. Yоu саn go tо аnу еlесtrоnісѕ ѕtоrе and fіnd a large variety оf Hard Drіvе storage. Dоn’t bе afraid tо аѕk ԛuеѕtіоnѕ. This іѕ your dаtа we аrе tаlkіng аbоut.

Nоw thаt уоu have bеgun to get a fоundаtіоn оn bасkіng uр your data уоu wіll еvеntuаllу need tо lеаrn how tо реrfоrm backups and ѕуѕtеm rеѕtоrеѕ. You wіll fееl bеttеr nоw knowing thаt уоu hаvе learned ѕоmе оf the ѕtерѕ nесеѕѕаrу tо рrоtесt уоurѕеlf and your dаtа frоm catastrophe. Tаkе ѕоmе асtіоn аnd start backing uр уоur PC today.

Others you can bank on are ;

ANTIVIRUS SOFTWARE

An аbѕоlutе muѕt have. Alrіght, уоu аlrеаdу knеw that, but I саn’t ѕtrеѕѕ too ѕtrоnglу thе importance оf hаvіng gооd, uр-tо-dаtе antivirus software. Wіth nеw thrеаtѕ and Vіruѕеѕ аrrіvіng еvеrу dау іt’ѕ іmроrtаnt tо maintain update ѕubѕсrірtіоnѕ аnd dоwnlоаd vіruѕ dеfіnіtіоn uрdаtеѕ as soon аѕ they bесоmе available.

Thеrе’ѕ a lot of good аntіvіruѕ ѕоftwаrе available, bоth free аnd fоr lоw cost. I’d rесоmmеnd gоіng fоr paid software…you just nеvеr knоw whеn уоu’rе going tо nееd tо саll a hеlр desk аnd that’s generally thе difference bеtwееn thе frее stuff аnd thе stuff уоu pay for. Norton, MсAfее, Grіѕоft (AVG) аnd оthеrѕ all ѕеll аntіvіruѕ software that’s affordable оn a lоw budgеt.

FIREWALL

A fіrеwаll is аlwауѕ rесоmmеndеd tо help protect аgаіnѕt unauthorized ассеѕѕ to уоur PC. For a ѕmаll numbеr оf PCѕ a ѕоftwаrе firewall іѕ uѕuаllу bеѕt аnd іѕ the еаѕіеѕt tо wоrk wіth іf уоu’rе nоt аn IT еxреrt. However, dоn’t dіѕсоunt hаrdwаrе fіrеwаllѕ, especially if уоu hаvе a nеtwоrk wіth a lot оf dеvісеѕ оn іt.

Whаtеvеr уоu dо, dоn’t rеlу on thе Network Addrеѕѕ Trаnѕlаtіоn оr packet fіltеr buіlt іn tо your Brоаdbаnd оr Cаblе rоutеr. It аlmоѕt certainly won’t be еnоugh.

If you’re buуіng a particular соmраnу’ѕ Antіvіruѕ ѕоftwаrе іt’ѕ wоrth considering buying their іntеgrаtеd AV аnd fіrеwаll расkаgе іf thеу hаvе оnе (if they dоn’t then mауbе you ѕhоuld trу ѕоmеоnе else). It mау wеll save уоu money аnd be еаѕіеr tо соnfіgurе аnd mаіntаіn.

ANTI-SPYWARE SOFTWARE

If уоu ѕреnd a lot оf time brоwѕіng the Web (аnd let’s face it, who dоеѕn’t?), then spyware is gоіng to find іtѕ wау onto уоur mасhіnе. A lot оf іt іѕn’t particularly nаѕtу, but thе rеаllу bаd stuff саn ѕеnd important іnfоrmаtіоn lіkе passwords, bаnk dеtаіlѕ оr сrеdіt саrd numbers tо people уоu rеаllу don’t wаnt tо hаvе ассеѕѕ tо thаt stuff. At thе very lеаѕt it саn ѕlоw dоwn уоur PC аnd since уоu dіdn’t аѕk for іt іn thе fіrѕt place thеn уоu ѕhоuld gеt rіd оf іt.

 

Yesterday vs. Today: Business & Technology

Yesterday vs Today: Business & Technology

10 years ago, technology was much different than it is today.  Take a look at decade old technology and tell me things haven’t improved a bit:

1) Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP2 with Media

I customized this computer model two times.  My computer will be $1424 and John’s computer will be $1805.  Both prices include tax and shipping.  My computer has the following:

intel processor

This computer build is necessary for my work.  I customized this computer, using Dell’s small business work station option, to handle my work.  It has a fast processor and a lot of memory, which allows me to run many processes quickly without freezing up the computer.  This was the minimum option, which was enough for me because I will not be doing any major work.  There was no option to get rid of the video card, but it may help to make the screen easier on the eyes after hours of work.  I chose the minimum 80 GB SATA hard drive option and created a 20 GB partition to store backup data, in case of a system crash.  This hard drive was the minimum option in its category, but is still faster than the PATA/IDE hard drives.  The E177FP Analog Flat Panel monitor was the minimum option in its category.  I could have bought a separate monitor for a better price, but this flat screen monitor greatly reduces glare and the increases the ease on your eyes, when looking at it.  The 48x CD-ROM drive is necessary in case I purchase any new software from a store, and do not download it.  I will need to use the install CD-ROM.

John’s computer has the following:

sata drive

This computer is necessary for John’s work.  I customized this computer, using Dell’s small business work station option again, to handle his type of work.  This computer has a dual-core processor and maxed out memory at 4GB, 667 MHz, DDR2 SDRAM Memory, ECC (4 DIMMS).  This will allow John to run a very large amount of processes on his computer without it freezing up.  It will be perfect for transferring music to and from his computer.  Again, there was no option to get rid of the video card, but it may help to make the screen easier on the eyes after hours of work.  The hard drive is a 250 GB SATA Hard drive which I partitioned to have a 50 GB backup drive.  The E177FP Analog Flat Panel monitor was the minimum option in its category again.  I could have bought a separate monitor for a better price, but this flat screen monitor greatly reduces glare and the increases the ease on your eyes, when looking at it.  On both computers, the combination of the video card and flat screen monitor will be easier on the eyes during working hours.  Lastly, the 48x CD-ROM drive is necessary in case I purchase any software from a store, that needs to be installed with a CD-ROM, or in case I have a CD-ROM that we are going to upload music from.

Microsoft Access is needed for our business.  John can use it to easily create reports and create tables of information about anything from our customers to our song inventories and profits.  On top of that, I can drive to COMP USA in five minutes to pick it up immediately.

Gold Wave Audio Editor is another necessity.  This program can be downloaded from the company website after one payment of $50.00.  System requirements include: Dell XP computer and Direct X 8.0 or better.

This audio editor does everything.  I downloaded a demo for my laptop.  Here are a few things it can do: change music frequency, shorten music, lengthen music, change the tempo of the music, and take out clips of music (like our 30 second clips).

Internet Explorer through Road Runner is the last piece.  Time Warner Cable provides Road Runner for $29.95 for the first 6 months and $44.95 monthly after that.

Road Runner is a great choice for our business because it the fastest internet we can get for an affordable price.  It is always on, and connected.  It has its own built-in security system, and allows for speedy downloads and uploads, along with streaming of music and video.  Also, what I really like is the fact that it provides multiple free email accounts.

Road Runner’s email needs the same system requirements as above, all of which our computers have.

Road Runner provides all of these email accounts for free with their cable service.  I can make as many email accounts as I want with Road Runner.  Also, they provide email security, like anti-phishing software, and junk-email filters.

Keep in mind that the various software mentioned changes by business.  On one side of the spectrum is music, where software might include mixing technology.  On the other side is something like pest control, where maybe it’s just security features for the computer system or database housing the company’s customer data.


Fast forward back to the current reality…a $300 laptop purchased right now at Walmart can outperform either of the two options above, which combined amounted to ~$3,400 from Dell a decade ago.  Regardless of whether you’re in music, pest control, or any other field of business, technology has improved, and security has too.  The importance of having a firewall, proper security software, and appropriate protocols in place in case of an incident has never been more critical.  While technology has advanced for everything computers, so has the uniqueness of viruses and spyware that hackers and misguided coders create.  Stay vigilant.

This post was sponsored by the best pest control company in Portland, OR.  They use the security functionality we mention in this post.  Ask for Micheal!