Posts Tagged ‘online backups’

CryptoLocker – CryptoWall – CryptoWhatever!

It blipped in the news some months ago.  CryptoLocker, CryptoWall, CryptoWhatever.  Long and short of it once you get hit by it, it proceeds to encrypt documents on your PC and any network shares to which you have access.  Now of course if you choose to pay the ransom, which increases quickly the longer you wait, you may or may not receive an un-encrypt key.  Your antivirus “might” protect you against this but if the timing is wrong and a new mutation comes out before your AV can update itself, well, it’ll be pretty painful.

One of our long time clients had a user on a fully updated, fully protected PC get hit with this late on a Friday.  We experienced the tiniest fraction of possible damage because of two things:

1)      We quickly shut this machine down and separated it from the network.

2)      Most importantly, backups were in place.

Backups are your absolute best line of defense against ransomware.  And they should be tested periodically for restorability.  Are you 100% certain your defenses are all they can be?  If you’re not, you should be, we can show you how.

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QuickBook Backups

So you got your online backup in place.  Excellent!

And you double-checked to see it’s backing up all the stuff you want backed up.  Excellent!

However, there’s a little secret that you should know if you use Quickbooks or other database type applications.  Online backups of the database files is not always reliable.  Quickbooks in particular.  It’ll say it’s backed up but, and it’s a big but, if you ever need to restore it you might be in a bit of trouble.

What do you do?

We recommend you use the internal backup built into Quickbooks that creates a .qbb file and put it somewhere on your hard drive.  This backup can even be automated.  Then make sure your online backup is set to back up the folder containing that .qbb.  This will work a lot better in case you need to restore.  Most similar database programs will contain a way for you to create a backup that can actually be restored.

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Free online backups – deal or no deal?

Online Backups

Rule number 1 – Always always always good to have.

Rule number 2 – Free comes with a price.

The first part of this is that everyone, every business, should have an online backup.  Call it online backup, call it cloud backup, call it whatever you will.  It’s inexpensive, automatic, and your absolute best bet at not losing any data.

Free backup systems like Dropbox and Google Drive are cool.  We like them.  And SOMETHING is better than NOTHING. But at the business level what we believe is more important is the support system for those online backups.  Granted we haven’t exhaustively tested their systems but how many resources do you think a company puts behind something they offer free?  Just something to think about. However, we have reports that the home clients who have had to use Google Drive to restore files didn’t seem to have any issues getting their data…

And what you may not know is that many local and national laws require that the data be kept within United States boundaries.  For example accounting firms.  Of course there’s the whole idea of supporting local businesses because if they have a business that pays local people, those local people have money to buy your product.

So nationally we can recommend Carbonite, but first on our local list is Crashplan.  They are based in Minneapolis and now just spreading national.  Very good system and the price is right.  Their support team is actually pretty easy to work with.

Let’s say that the price you pay for their service is under $100 yearly.  You’ll pass that in the blink of an eye trying to recover lost data.  And you can call them and talk to a real person if you have any problems.

So online backup is worth 8 of 10 points.  Local and accessible online backup is worth 10.

Stop waiting to get your data backed up!  We get too many calls from folks who meant to get their data backed up… and now their hard drive has crashed, or they dropped their laptop, or the flash drive they kept the data on was crushed in a horrible accident… etc., etc.  Don’t let that be you!  And if you need help knowing what to have backed up, feel free to give us a call.

Happy (backed-up) computing!

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