26/11/13

Why Data Backup Matters

Following our CryptoLocker
Virus Alert
last month, we’d like to remind you how vital it is to Back-Up your data regularly. If you
read our item, you’ll recall there are only 2 ways to deal with Crypto Locker: pay the ransom (not advised) or restore your
data from an earlier Back-Up.

Since our article
another NSS customer was duped into opening an email containing this virus. Fortunately,
their data was restored from Back-Up after the virus was cleaned off their
system. So it is essential to have an external backup drive handy and an easy
way of making backup copies. That way the routine becomes a regular habit.

This Blog covers the
main features to consider when buying
an external hard drive for data backup:

External Hard Drives: How to Choose the
Device for Your Digital Needs

External hard drives offer
valuable digital storage and portability. However, it can be hard to choose the
best one for your needs. These are the key factors to consider when
searching for an external hard disk drive (HDD).

Storage
Capacity

Portable hard drives
are available with a variety of storage capacities; ranging from 160 gigabytes
(GB) to 750GB. You can also buy one terabyte (TB) and two terabyte models. If
you are looking to transfer files and folders from one device to another then
you will find a smaller-capacity drive sufficient. If however, you intend to
use the drive to add extra storage to your computer or as an additional backup
layer – then go for a drive with a higher storage capacity.

Transfer
Speeds

The transfer speed is
the rate at which an external hard drive can transfer data to and from a host
controller (i.e. a computer). If you plan on using the drive to simply back up
and store data, you probably don’t need the fastest external hard drive on the
market. On the other hand, if you plan to store large multimedia files then
look for a drive with a quicker transfer speed, like those with a USB 3.0
interface. USB 3.0 offers transfer rates up to 10 times faster than its
predecessor; the USB 2.0 interface.

Portability

How portable an
external hard drive is depends on 3 factors: size, weight and durability. Many
portable hard drives are just a few inches in size and weigh no more than a few
ounces. This means they are lightweight and can be slipped into a pocket – so
you get portability without sacrificing storage capacity. In terms of
durability, any portable external HDD needs to be durable enough to withstand
the minor abuse sustained through daily transport and use. Look out for mobile
drives with drop protection features and that are made from solid, long-lasting
materials such as aluminium or sturdy plastic. A soft HDD zipped cover case is
a good investment for around £6.

Encryption

In case of loss or
theft of your external hard drive, it is vital you have encryption software installed.
Look for drives that offer password
protection
and, ideally hardware-based
encryption
. While software-based encryption does offer some protection, it may
not be as secure as hardware-based encryption.

Back-Up Software

In addition to
pre-loaded software there are a wide range of external software programs which
can be used in conjunction with external hard drives to ensure an efficient and
regular backup. The software can range from simple applications which may only
back-up files, such as: the default Windows XP BackUp and Windows BackUp & Restore for Windows 7 and Syncback (there is a Free version
available), to more complex backup applications such as Acronis, which creates a full live disk
image of the machine meaning it is not just files which are backed up but an exact copy of the machine during the time
of backup
.

Think Belt & Braces – HDD Drives Do fail

Do not rely on just
1 external drive. It’s good idea to have at least 2, even better 5, and swap them for
your daily back-ups. That way, should any one drive fail or other disaster strike –
you will only ever lose 1 day’ worth of data.

Don’t Open .exe or .zip files sent by Email

Finally, please don’t
open .exe sent to you by email and
be very careful about opening a .zip
file unless you are expecting to receive one. One unwary click could download a
virus in seconds. It can erase or encrypt your data or even lock you out of
your own computer before you know it’s even happened.

Finally

Decide which factors
are most important for you, and then use them to help you find the external
hard drive that best meets your needs.

If you would like
further advice or recommendation on your backup needs/requirements then please feel free to
contact us on 0808
168 5999
or katy@networksupportsolutions.co.uk