Newsletter emailed to clients March 2016, specially formatted here for web viewing
Just another update email for a few reasons, as always I want to remind people to ensure you've got a backup of your important data. Even if that is simply copying your most important docs, pictures to a USB memory stick or external hard drive, as long as your valuable data is in at least 2 places you've got some level of backup in place.
If you've got some software doing the backup for you make sure you know what it's doing and that it is definitely still doing it properly. A program that was setup a year ago may have hit a glitch and could be unable to resume the backup. Hardware devices can fail causing the backup to fail. I recently had a client with intermittent backup problems with what appeared to be a hard drive failure but only after setting up a new drive it was discovered that the USB port (or something else) was actually at fault, not the hard drive at all. So be careful people!
A handy feature that a backup should do for you is keep old copies of your backed up files, so even if a file (like a Word doc) has edits done to it or some part deleted and then saved, you can actually go back to the way the file was previously. Windows does offer a built in method of doing this type of thing but nothing is as thorough as having your data on an external source kept in another room away from the main computer.
If your backup drive is kept plugged in all the time it's susceptible to viruses. So don't have your backup drive permanently plugged in.
Network drives are susceptible to viruses too so keep that in mind.
SOLID STATE DRIVES
I've probably preached to you all at some point about the benefits of Solid State Drive, SSDs. They can speed up a computer greatly, from booting up in 90 seconds to under 15. One drawback of SSDs though is data recovery from them is often much much harder (and more expensive) than from traditional Hard Disk Drives, HDDs. So for those running SSDs it's extra critical that your backup procedure has your valuable data kept safe in at least 2 places.
Not running an SSD yet? This upgrade is the single best upgrade that can be done on basically any computer. The cost, including labour, can sometimes be as little as $200 and you can have the computer back the same day or next morning.
ANTI VIRUS and SCAM EMAILS
The 'crypto' virus is still the biggest, nastiest security threat around right now. When it attacks a computer it encrypts your files and they're then basically never recoverable. The bad guys ask for money to 'decrypt' them, but 99 times out of 100 the bad guys just take your money and your files are still unusable. The main way this virus gets onto your computer is through a scam email pretending to be from Australia Post, Federal Police or similar. Be careful and don't open anything that looks suspicious. If you're unsure, feel free to email it to me and ask.
A good antivirus/antimalware program will go a long way towards preventing threats from jumping onto your computer. As the threats increase, so must your level of protection. The days of the free or 'builtin' antivirus software from Microsoft (Windows Essentials or Defender) being sufficient are gone and to be truly protected you really need a more thorough antivirus. A couple of free ones I can recommend are Avira or Avast. My preferred 'paid for' antivirus is Trend Micro and Kaspersky is also very good. In addition to a traditional Antivirus such as these you can run an Anti-malware program, my preferred ones are SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes Antimalware. If you're looking for these, make sure you type those names exactly as there are plenty of pretenders.
Lastly, I'd love it if you could give me a review through Google. You can click here which will take you to the Google Maps page and info for Perth Computer Help. You'll find the 'WRITE A REVIEW' button at the bottom left.
If you have any questions or comments about anything I've talked about here or anything at all, please reply and ask. You can check out my website here and Facebook here where my last post was about helping a lovely client with a new computer desk.
Oh, and happy Easter!!!