Byte Me Article 203 – Backup to protect from data loss

Backup to Protect From Data Loss

Last week we wrote about the re-appearance of the worldwide Ransomware virus – CryptoLocker. Since then we have had a huge number of phone calls asking for further information about the virus and in particular how to avoid it. This article focus on these very topics.

There have been many asking if they can get this virus simply by being on the Internet – the short answer here is, no. CryptoLocker is currently only spread through the email system. It poses as an email from a legitimate source asking you to click on an Internet link contained in the email. In the latest round of infections it has posed as a NSW speeding fine although there are plenty of other disguises such as a refund from the ATO.

Anti-virus companies are responding to these latest threats & modifying their software to block the virus, however the bad guys are also reworking the virus into differing forms to get past the latest anti-virus changes – and so it goes! It has been a general rule of thumb for many years now that if you get an email asking you to click on a link or open an attachment then you need to treat it with suspicion from the start.

2014-12-06 Byte Me Artilce 203 - Prevent CryptoLocker

What are some of the signs of a fake email? To start with fake emails with rarely be addressed specifically to the recipient. So normally they will not start with – Dear Mr Kerr. If they are pretending to be from the ATO or Telstra or a financial institution then they will also be devoid of your details such as ABN or ACN or Tax File Number or Telstra Account Number or Bank Account Name…..

Keep in mind that besides CryptoLocker customers this week we have had just as many disasters come through our doors with people losing data due to a hard drive failure. This occurs when their computers internal hard drive fails or when an external portable backup drive fails or even when a USB memory stick fails and they don’t have a copy of this information anywhere else. In some of these instances data recovery can be either impossible or simply too expensive to complete.

So CryptoLocker is most definitely doing the rounds and causing havoc right now as it a very ‘exclusive’ virus in being able to cause total data loss, however it is certainly not the only common way of losing data. As we have indicated in a number of these articles, the importance of a good backup ‘system’ cannot be overstated.

Any computer owner can purchase a USB memory stick or external hard drive and regularly copy their most important files to these devices if these files are simple photos and documents. It does however get more complex if your important files include emails, address books, a tax package or a special database. Any ‘good’ backup system needs to be quick, convenient, user verifiable and user restorable.

We developed such a system over a decade ago which we now have protecting many thousand computers around CQ. As an example, for $200 in total our Kerr Backup System includes a 1TB external drive as well as software that is programmed specially to suit the individual user or business. Once installed the PC user only has to plug in the external drive whenever they have added to or made changes to their data and simply double click one icon on their desktop.

The above backup procedure takes around 20 seconds to run while allowing the user to see it working and its validity can also be verified in a few seconds. The other unique features are that the end user themselves can restore any lost data and this system also does not delete data – even if it has be deleted from the master copy on the PC. If you did a tidy up of your files and then realised weeks later that you deleted something important, then regardless of the fact that you have run several backup since the files that you originally deleted are still easily recovered from the backup drive.

Nearly all of our customers use this simple system however we are constantly surprised by finding new customers without any form of backup.

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

For more advice and assistance from Kerr Solutions, like and follow us on Facebook