What’s Your Computer Disaster Plan?

Sad, but true: If you spend a lot of time on your computer, there’s no doubt that you’ll experience data storage problems at some point, whether it’s a mechanical failure or a failure on your part. In this increasingly digital world, data is becoming the most important thing you can create. When that data – personal, financial or otherwise – is lost, by golly you need to get it back.

These bits and bytes that make up your data should be your top priority as you begin setting up your protective strategies. Remember that applications and operating systems can be reinstalled, so they’re less important to back up, as long as you also backup their memory files.

There are individual tools that can be used to recover specific files. For instance, there are programs available specifically to restore Microsoft Outlook files. Similarly, other programs work on recovering data from burnt out hard drives bit by bit. In this age of excess, there are multifarious ways of solving almost any technical problem you’re having.

Surely some of your data is confidential, which means that you don’t want to lose it or have it unknowingly accessed by others. If confidential files containing personal information are lost or stolen, you could become a victim of identity theft. It’s important to keep secure data secure, even when trying to create backups for it.

So you're telling me That I can protect my data

10 Ways to Protect Your Data

1. Utilize Public Key Infrastructure (PKI)

PKI is a system used for managing public and private digital certificates and key pairs. Because the publishers of keys and certificates are trusted, security that is certificate-based is stronger.

2. Password Protect Documents

Many of the productivity applications allow you to put passwords on individual documents or folders. Passwords can also be set to open files and/or make changes to them.

3. Utilize Share-Level and File-Level Security

To ensure that your data is safe, set permissions on your folders and files. These permissions help you control which user accounts have the ability to access these files across the network.

If you’re not the only user on a computer, you will need to use the file-level permission instead of the share-level permission.

4. Back Up Data Regularly

The key step in protecting data from loss is backing your data up regularly. Only you can determine how often you need to do this. A backup can be done daily, weekly or even hourly.

Don’t always use the same disk for backup; that way, if you’re unable to use a particular disk to restore your data, for whatever reason, you’ll have another.

A lot of third-party backup programs are available. No matter which program you choose, always store a backup copy offsite and/or in one of the cloud services available, just in case there is a fire or some other natural disaster that could destroy your backup materials along with your original data.

5.Use the Encrypting File System (EFS)

Windows XP Pro and Windows 2000 XP support EFS. This system allows you to protect individual folders and files that are stored on NTFS-formatted partitions.

The EFS is only for protecting your data on the disk. Therefore, if you send an EFS protected file over the network, it can be captured via a sniffer.

6.Utilize Disk Encryption

Whole disk encryption will lock down all contents on the disk drive/partition. Data will automatically be encrypted when it’s written to your hard disk and decrypted before loading into memory.

Some of the programs available have the ability to create containers inside a partition that are invisible and/or create a master password and secondary passwords. This can be done with DriveCrypt and PGP Whole Disk Encryption.

7. Keep Your Wireless Transmissions Secure

Data sent over wireless networks is more likely to be intercepted than data sent across an Ethernet network.

You should only store or send data on wireless networks using encryption. The Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) is preferred because it is stronger than the Wired Equivalent Protocol (WEP).

 

8. Retain Control with Rights Management

Windows Rights Management System (RMS) allows you to protect your data even after it leaves your system. RMS lets you control what recipients can do with it.

For example, permissions can be set on a Word document that keeps the recipient from saving, copying or changing it in any way. You can place an expiration date on documents/messages and prevent your email messages from being forwarded.

9. Hide Your Data Using Steganography

A steganography program will hide your data. For instance, you could place a text message within an MP3 music file.

Steganography software will not encrypt your message, but you can encrypt your data first and then hide it.

However, there is a freeware download called StegoMagic that will allow you to encrypt messages and then hide them in .BMP, .WAV or .TXT files.

10. Protect Your Data During Transit Using IP Security

While traveling across the network, your data can be captured by a hacker that has sniffer software. You can protect your data with Internet Protocol Security (IPsec).

Crashed Computer Solutions

  1. The easiest and least expensive method for recovering your data is restoring it from your own backup set. If you don’t have one, read on.
  2. If your hard drive can be accessed, you can buy data recovery software. It’s usually not very expensive in comparison to the professional data recovery services. This software will scan the drive, transferring all the legible information to another medium.
  3. If you cannot access your drive, you have to call out the professionals. Contact a professional data recovery service. They will recover your data using specialized software and equipment. These services usually retrieve about 90 percent of your data.

Although data recovery is disregarded by many because they don’t think they’ll ever need it, they should rethink that theory. Taking the necessary steps to protect your critical data isn’t difficult and could prevent an enormous headache and loss of revenue later.

 

 

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