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I can’t stress this enough – you really owe it to yourself to institute a data backup plan.  There’s a lot of stuff going on out there that you can’t really prevent – viruses, theft, fires, etc.  And if you don’t have your data backed up you’re going to be up proverbial shit creek.


Ways To Protect Your Data


kidscomputerA modern personal computer somehow, leads a dual life. On one hand, it’s an entertainment center, providing access to the internet, games etc. And on the other, it’s a great tool for creating, collecting and storing all sorts of important information.

If your pc is lost, stolen or you switch to another one there is very little effect to the entertainment side. But unless the personal data on your system is properly protected, a loss or theft could easily become a data disaster. How can such a disaster be headed off? Here are a few hot ideas.

Back up early and often.

The most important step when protecting your data from loss is regularly backing it up. This can be done using the in-built backup utility found in Windows (ntbackup.exe). You can then use Wizard Mode which simplifies creation of backups or manually configure the backup settings.

There are numerous third party backup programs which offer even more sophisticated options. Whatever the program used, it is important for you to store a copy of the backup offsite in case of tornado, fire or other natural disasters that could destroy the backup disks or tapes alongside the original data.

Password-protect documents.

Most productivity applications, for example Adobe Acrobat and Microsoft Office applications allow people to protect their individual documents with passwords. For the document to be opened, users have to enter the password. Unfortunately, the password protection offered in Microsoft Word is pretty easy to crack.. This kind of password protection deters casual would-be intruders but is can easily be circumvented by determined intruders with the right tools.

Encrypt It.

Got sensitive data you want to keep, rather than shred? At the very least, copy the file to an encrypted ZIP file and shred the original.

Most security suites allow you to create a “vault” to be used to store files. The encrypted vault looks like an ordinary folder when opened using the password, but when locked the files stored within are completely inaccessible. Several suites offer this feature among them Bitdefender Total Security, McAfee Total Protection, Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security and TrustPort Total Protection.

Use Protective Software

Installing an antivirus software program is must.  We recommend Norton 360 as a great software program that offers real time protection.  But what happens if you get infected by malware?  Then what can you do to help your computer?  The best option would be to install a decent anti-spyware software tool such as Spyhunter 4.  This software tool is a great program that can easily remove any spyware that works its way onto your PC.  Check out the reviews over at We Hate Malware for more information.

Plan ahead.

Create plans to review the status of your data security and create routine processes to handle, access and store or archive your data. Ensure you and all your colleagues are aware of how they should respond in case of a data loss or breach incident.

Manage your system and browser to protect your privacy.

Hackers are constantly working to find holes in browsers and operating systems. To protect the computer and information within, set the security settings of your system or browser to medium or high. Check the “Options” or “Tools” menus to know how this is done. Regularly update the system and browser, and take advantage of automatic updating when it is available.

Install a firewall.

Firewalls are programs that block hackers from using your computer. Hackers search the net and send out calls to numerous computers awaiting responses. Firewalls prevent computers from responding to such calls. Firewalls block communications to and from unpermitted sources. This is particularly important for people using high speed internet connections, like cable or DSL. To be effective the firewall must be properly set up, turned on and regularly updated.

How To Remove Malware Manually


Can you remove malware manually?  Sometimes you can.  If you’re interested in getting your hands dirty and trying something new with your computer, then check out this short video that can give you some tips on how to get rid of malicious software without resorting to purchasing a removal software program.


Internet Of Things Not So Safe


shutupIf you’re eager to get a new appliance that interfaces with the internet through your in-home network, you might want to do a bit of research first.  The thing about the IoT (Internet Of Things) is that many of these devices have terrible security protocol.  They are often easily hacked, have more security holes than a piece of swiss cheese, and are difficult to update.

Take for example the latest offender: the Comfort Link thermostat.  This device not only allows people to adjust their thermostat remotely but also connects to the internet in order to display weather, family photos, and other assorted goodies.  The problem is that Cisco just reported that there are as many as three major security holes in this device.  One of the holes allows attackers to potentially access the rest of the network through the device (over the internet).

The manufacturer of the devices, Trane, has not replied for requests for comment yet.

The problem with IoT things is that these are usually devices that we use for years and years.  You’ll have to think about whether or not the device will be supported.  The thing is, old software code is ripe for attack.  There are always holes in code – it just takes time to find them.

Personally I’m not a fan – I don’t really need the internet on all of my devices.  Do I really need to see weather reports on my thermostat, fridge, and toaster?  I’m already on the internet enough as it is between my job and my phone.  It’s hard enough to find time where I’m not “connected” and the internet is begging for my attention.

While creative technology like this is great, it definitely is a good idea to really think about the implications before you dive in head first.  Read about the brand, do a few google searches about any security holes, and think about whether or not you want to risk your network security just to have the weather updates.