Archive for computer security

Hackers and malicious software developers have long been on the play ever since the Internet came into existence. These programs, codes and destructive algorithms tend to destroy files and even the installed programs on the computer acting as host or worst; it can even destroy hard drives. Finding out the destructive effects that computer viruses do brought software developers to decide creating programs that would counter these malicious often harmful viruses. This commenced the use of virus protection software also known as “antivirus”.

What is an Antivirus?

Virus protection programs commonly known as antivirus are applications for computers designed to detect and protect computers from viruses that can be harmful to files saved on its hard drive. Most antivirus programs especially the premium versions are effective in deleting and removing adware, malware and other harmful viruses out of your computer’s system.

What Does Antivirus Do to Protect Computers?

Antivirus programs provide superb protection for any computer system against potential threats like worms; bots, Trojans and other viruses in the online and offline environment. Identifying threats to your computer’s security and shield against identity theft also belong to the list of functions an antivirus performs to completely rid your machine away from things that can destroy its system and the hardware as well.

The level of safety that antivirus programs provide is essential in any setting whether at home, in your business or on your workplace. Most antivirus programs work by scanning each file against harmful codes and loops for replication while others check and scrutinize certificates and licenses of the publisher or developer of a certain stuff before it is allowed access to your system. This is an effective way of protecting you from losing critical work or business files and identity theft which are prevalent nowadays.

Further Protection

All antivirus programs automatically establish a network for surveillance that scans all files for any infection by comparing earlier versions of the file to identify loops and file integrity. The scanned files are then separated into two categories known as low and high-risk files. Most of the time, antivirus programs label a file infected by simply comparing file structure and integrity to the latest virus definition.

Normally, antivirus program developers charge you for license and for the purchase of the software as well. Purchasing in bulk for a business will entitle you for a discount but the price shouldn’t really matter when the security of your business and your office files are already put at stake.

The Trend at Present

Modern virus protection software has almost all that a computer owner needs to protect his/her machine against viruses transmitted through the Internet. Most have spyware, adware and malware shields which work best in disarming harmful programs and putting them into quarantine so it can’t infect other files further. Other antivirus also has an integrated internet security which shields host computers against hackers and emails containing virus attachments. Virus protection software companies also provide regular updates in virus definitions to help improve detection of viruses especially in today’s fast evolving viruses luring around the internet space.

Antivirus are great but there’s nothing far better than being prepared all the time. Setting up a backup for all critical files is always a good thing when antivirus stops working.

Categories Computer Virus
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Data loss is something that most computer users consider as a nightmare. No matter what use your computer is intended to, losing data remains a constant enemy that may hit your machine anytime.  Ample preparation and planning especially for those who use computers in business and word processing is important to avoid losing precious data or if worst, your business. A responsible computer and business owner must therefore be able to have backup and recovery plans of all important files to avoid dire consequences and of course, the traumatic experience of losing important data.

Causes of Data Loss

Losing data can be attributed to a host of software and hardware failures but generally, most belongs to these 3 categories:

  • Virus infection- A virus or any other malicious program can rapidly corrupt some files and programs on your hard drive causing a massive loss of important data saved on your computer
  • Hardware failure or damage- Failures in your computer hardware such as the hard drive can be very devastating. Natural occurrences like earthquakes, floods, and the like can be attributed to hardware damage. Other cases also include fire, power outage and lack of hardware maintenance.
  • Crimes and other causes- This includes file theft, espionage and most of the time, poor file handling by one of your employees. In other cases, some important files are mistakenly erased by someone resulting to a loss of information.

What Can You Do?

As an individual owning a computer for personal or work related use, the following steps will help prevent data loss:

  1. Avoid storing important files in the “My documents” folder. This is the most vulnerable place you can store your files into. You can try setting up a different partition for important files.
  2. Get an external hard drive. This is one of the easiest yet the most effective way of having your files backed up. External drives have more than enough and safe space for all your precious files.
  3. Avoid attachments and illegal software. Most contain malicious programs and viruses which can render all your files useless. Some can even damage your hard drive!

For big businesses and other firms who are using computers, the following steps can be taken into action:

  1. Identify the cause of data loss and contact a data backup and recovery experts to set up a plan and a recovery system for your business operations.
  2. Always expect the unexpected. Have another place where your business can still be done just in case a fire breaks out within your building.
  3. Have all important files stored in a safe space. Having an offsite storage will also help in keeping all essential files safe from any disaster that may hit your business.
  4. Prevent loss by hiring a team of experiences backup and recovery experts and including the cost of having them on your operations expenses. These experts know what to do in any case of data loss. They can also help you in think and set up best system of backup and recovery that would fit your business.

Losing data can be very stressful but prevention, proper preparation and having the right team of recovery experts can make it a bit easier to deal with!

Categories Computer Maintenance
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There’s never been a time that a disaster is absent in any aspect of life. Disasters occur anywhere including the computing and data storage realm. Nowadays, data and information is more important than money. Thus, data recovery planning for any disaster is crucial in keeping any business on track and operational.

Data Recovery Planning at Present

Most businesses at present depend highly on computers for a lot of processes and data storage as well. The contribution that computers provide defines a business largely but no matter how great this machines function in making businesses run, they are not perfect. Disasters like earthquakes, floods tornados and other natural occurrences can damage computers of a certain business but no matter how often or unexpected disasters occur. Business owners tend to ignore data recovery planning and blindly choose to suffer the loss afterwards.

What Should Be Backed Up?

Basically, everything that is needed to keep the business running should be included in a data recovery plan. A responsible business owner should be able to identify how often a disaster occurs or how vulnerable files are to theft, misuse and loss. Setting up a team of data recovery experts or hiring a firm which provides data backup and recovery systems services is one important step towards ensuring an operational business no matter what disaster it faces. Setting up this team of experts and hiring them also entails cost. Most big businesses really take time and spend money searching for the best firm. The more important the files are, the higher the cost it would require but investing on it is better than suffering a much greater loss due to failure to retrieve important  IT system files and other business processing data that is needed to run the business.

Disasters That May Cause Data Loss

Losing data in today’s fast and speedy business processes which highly depends on computers can be caused by the following factors.

  • Human Failure/ Error- Some files may have been deleted by mistake or the storage device like DVD’s, USB’s or external hard drive has been misplaced or lost.
  • Intentional Crimes/ Acts- File theft, hacking through system and espionage on industrial aspect.
  • Random Natural Occurrences- Power outages/ failures, errors and crashes on software, software worms and bugs causing system freezes.
  • Natural Disasters- Fire, flood, earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes etc.

Identifying which one occurs often and discerning which one can possibly happen to your business is essential in having all data recovery plans laid out by the experts you hired.

 

The Significance

In today’s business world which largely depends on computers and the internet in delivering services to customers it is important that a proper and well laid out recovery plan is in place. One simple disaster can have an exponential effect on your business and can even kill it. The data and information that computers the computers in your business contain serves as the life blood of it. Losing one important file and failing to recover it within 48 hours can put your business out of track for a year or so. Information and data related to your business is indeed has greater value than money! Take the right step. Set up a data recovery plan today!

Categories Computer Maintenance
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For someone who completely depends on computers for their everyday work, there is no greater disaster than a computer system crashing or a disk collapsing. When you are experiencing disk crashing, your data, files, and other types of data that are saved in your computer drive might be lost. It is important to be aware of preventions and solutions when this situation occurs. You have to know beforehand what to do when your computer system breaks down, especially if you have important contents in your files which you can’t afford to lose. The good news is there are ways to prevent your files or data from permanent deletion.

The solution is called Data Recovery. Recovering lost data may prove to be a complicated and expensive task but there are steps that can be taken done to lessen and minimize the negative impact it brings. Knowing these prevention and recovery steps proves to be very helpful in preserving and recovering your critical files. Using RAID 5 architecture, incorporating physical security and as well as logical security measures to your business/ enterprise information system will help prevent data loss and ease up data recovery.

Using RAID 5 Configurations

 Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID 5) are configurations that utilizes 2 or more disks in storing mirror images, backups and redundant set of files to ensure that all critical files can still be recovered even if one drive fails.

RAID 1 Configuration

This type of configuration makes use of 2 disks each functioning as storage for files by mirroring. This level of architecture provides fast read and write speed and is effective in today’s modern multi-thread operating systems like Linux or Windows however, recovery is possible only if 1 disk out of the 2 fails. Redundancy in this type of configuration is 100%.

RAID 5 Configuration

 The RAID 5 configuration takes advantage of 3 hard drives configured as one however; at least 1 of these drives is used as a backup. This architecture is most effective in higher database applications. One failing drive in RAID 5 architecture will command the backup drive to wake into action making data recovery possible. Performance suffers during read, modify and write of files but efficiency in higher data volume is better.

Both configurations Raid 5 and Raid 1 work best in securing an image or a backup of any file you store in a computer making data recovery possible.

Preventive Steps

As mentioned earlier, data recovery is a costly process making it worthy to be prevented and avoided at all cost. Information is more important than money in today’s technology driven world and avoiding data loss is always better than paying for the consequences.

Physical Security

Physical Security is often an overlooked aspect in business but losing data due to fire, theft, burglary and other disasters cause real disaster. Some ways of improving physical security is by putting obstacles along the way like multiple locks, firewalls, sprinklers and fence. Placing surveillance and notification systems also helps put more physical security steps in place for your enterprise. How much physical security you need depends largely on the exposure to others your computer system has, how much you trust them and the available budget allocated to this purpose.

Logical Security

Logical security on the other hand guards your files from attackers in the online environment which can cause loss of data. Viruses are a common cause to this. Hackers also take advantage of the Internet to break into a company’s financial information. Logical security can be enhanced by using software that safeguards computers and networks from viruses and human attackers. Some ways of improving logical security includes file encryption, biometric information systems, passwords and authentication.

Both physical security and logical security steps are essential in securing a company’s critical files against loss, theft and permanent damage making data recovery still possible after minor or major disasters.

Categories Computer Maintenance
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Your computer, just like your car, needs to be maintained. Lack of maintenance would cause your machine to slow down and even have a lot of malwares and viruses that will later on damage your hard drive and would render your computer useless in a later time. Here is a rundown of the maintenance checklist to maintain your computer at its peak performance.

 

1.     Always Remember to Remove Junk and Unwanted Files

There are two ways to do this maintenance step. First is by performing a disk cleanup.

Your computer actually accumulates a lot of files when you use it in browsing the internet. Most of these files are useless like downloaded contents which are in your download folders. The second is by clearing your browsing history.

2.     Control all your Installed Programs

Uninstall the trial versions which have already expired. Don’t waste your computer’s power and energy by keeping useless programs. There are two options that you have. It is either completely uninstalling the program and deleting it or registering your product by getting a license.

3.     Secure your Computer

Install a good antivirus software. The free versions that are offered may protect you but in a limited level. Spending on a license will open your way to a full protection for your computer’s software and its contents as well. Avoid using illegal versions of any software.

Some computer geeks make professional versions of some programs free but you don’t know what is in there. You may enjoy it for a short period of time but later on render your machine useless due to malwares and viruses that were brought by the illegal software you used.

4.     Set a Limit for Downloads

Make sure that you are getting safe downloads from secure sites. Be careful of the things that you are feeding your machine. Search for credible websites where you can get the free software that you want.

 5.     Avoid Bad Websites

Avoiding XXX websites and others which offer things that are too good to be true, actually carry a lots of viruses and tracking cookies which can infect your computer. It is always best to stay away from these sites. Also, don’t open any suspicious emails. These type of emails most likely carries a virus with it.

6.     Organize your Files

Always put your files in designated folders and on the directories they belong. This not only saves you time but also makes your computer easier to manage. Delete all files that are not used and keep those that you will need in the future.

7.     Defragment your Drive

Your disk has to be defragmented and set in order. Your drive actually accumulates all the programs and in time it creates some packets of free spaces that consumes and exhausts its power.

This simple list will surely help you maximize your use of the machine you bought. Follow this computer maintenance checklist and everything will work perfectly as you want it!

Categories Computer Maintenance
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