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We protect your data on your computer from ransomware. How to create archives

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The risk of losing your data in normal life is not very high, but it is still different from zero. Today, this probability has multiplied due to the ongoing coup targeted at Russian users. Therefore, it will be useful for you to be aware of both types of two word expressions so that they can be saved later. And you can lose data for a dozen different reasons – your computer will crash, the external drive where you store it will fail, the cloud storage will fail, and much more at the bottom of the list. I will describe the latest threats using a message from a corporate chat, which outlines the situation as broadly as possible and gives instructions on how to act on it.

Friends, I remind you of updates! Not until everything is over.

I also remind you of backups. I strongly recommend installing Veeam Backup or something similar and backing up your computer to a yandex disk. Be sure to keep backups for 3-4 weeks.

All kinds of malware work very cleverly: in the 1990s (I do not remember the name already), a virus encrypted a disk using int13 interception. The user continued to work without noticing because the files were decrypted on the fly.

In a good moment, the virus said – now your files are encrypted, give me money. At the same time, in fact, they were completely encrypted a few days ago.

So backups should be a few weeks.

The tips above are useful, but I have developed another mechanism to protect the information. I do not pretend to be the ultimate truth, but I will explain how to protect my data to avoid their loss. But I will start with another.

Unfortunately, many people live in bondage to stereotypes and repeat the stupid things that fly into their heads and settle there. You do not know how many times Mac owners boast that there are no viruses in MacOS and that their system is completely protected from external influences. Moreover, many people are not going to read anything on this subject because they “know for sure” that it is impossible. Attempts to reach consciousness did not end there – complete disregard for reality. Although there are constant reports that MacOS has one or more threats and that it is serious. Ransomware viruses have become the norm for MacOS, which can encrypt all your files and demand ransom. There are such viruses of reasonable frequency.

So, before discussing creating archives of your files, I suggest you to think about installing an antivirus. Until recently, we had a wide choice of different applications, and the built-in antivirus for Windows is free and great. But now the issue of trust for the Russian consumer is becoming increasingly important. I chose Kaspersky Antivirus for myself, although I always have questions about how the system loads, these little things fade into the background these days. You need extra protection, and you need to remember the rules of digital hygiene – do not launch unfamiliar applications, do not open links from strangers, and so on.

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Few people think about the need to make copies of their data and, most importantly, how to make them. For example, my friend recently bought a 6 TB external hard drive, and the seller guaranteed that this volume would last for the rest of his life. He only has two TB photos in iCloud, and has home computers, so there’s actually no space there. It is difficult to properly estimate the amount of information you have, so the rule is simple – the larger the amount of information carriers, the better. It does not make sense to take very small hard drives, on the other hand, it’s not worth buying something big for growth.

I have to save 1-1.5 TB of information every year. This is not excessive information – photos, videos, activity documents. The most basic and necessary, an archive that may be needed at some point in the future. For personal files and work files, I create archives every six months and upload them to external hard drives (I like WD digital, their quality decreases over time, but everyone has the same story).

My archives have been sorted for months, and personal photos have been placed in folders, so it is clear from the name what is inside. I used to navigate my files quickly and easily, the old fashioned way. I buy a lot of hard drives and SSDs during the year (my favorite is the Samsung SSD T5). Each disk has its own copy on the SSD, which is logical. However, they are stored in different places. For hypothetical problems, I should have a copy of my data hosted elsewhere.

I am often told that I am archiving archives, in fact, I am copying important data to my own hands. But I do not see anything wrong with that, because this is the only way to ensure the security of my data, and I can access it at any time.

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In this part of the article, I’m sure some people are already outraged and have strength and importance from what I suggest and how I store my data (oh, I think your adjectives). On my MacBook, of course, I have a time machine, and all the data is uploaded to my home NAS and network storage once a day. Once a week I paste an external drive and send a copy of the data there. I have repeatedly encountered suggestions for making a copy of the data in the cloud, detailed instructions for which cloud can be found on the net. But this is not very convenient, because I only need time machine archives to quickly restore the system on a MacBook if something happens to the main machine.

More interesting is the synchronization of multiple folders on the computer with the cloud, which contains work files, documents, and photos. Synchronization is ongoing, but you are free to choose your format, for example, do this several times during the day or night. All my mail resides in the cloud, and a local copy on the disk, so I’m not trying to save it anywhere else, no need. This is my answer to the claim that I make archives on external drives every six months, which is often not necessary. Everything is in the clouds and in my NAS.

Unfortunately, hard drives do not last long. Everyone has their own word, but considering that I do not follow them in tail and mane, they still refuse (these are the most expensive series from WD at the time of purchase). So, a long time ago I came up with the simplest thing: once a year I download all the data from the old disks to the new ones (they are usually large capacity). Data is sometimes duplicated, but this does not bother me much, the main thing is that they exist and are located in many places. When one or more disks fail, it is clearly saved twice. Now there is also an SSD, so it is very difficult to lose it as the information is duplicated.

You can save not only personal files but also archives including incremental to the cloud – here the choice of software is yours, everyone likes something different and has their own requirements for convenience. I will note that now you also need to look at the country where the software comes from so as not to get into trouble. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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I do not see the point in going into the details of how everything works with me – everyone does it their own way, and finding suggestions on specific data storage methods is not difficult. Another thing is important – until you lose some data, you do not have to worry about it, all this seems absurd. But once you face it, you change your attitude towards the problem.

Check out the survey answers on our Telegram channel. Surprisingly, at least a third of them do not care about their data and do not try to protect it.

Link to the survey

Here is a survey of exactly how your data is stored.

Link to the survey

Most people trust a local copy and do not try to save their data elsewhere. This is also the case with a friend of mine who expects his 6 TB hard drive to last long enough and most importantly. That would be nice, but something tells me that things could go in the wrong direction at any time.

I’m sure you need to make copies of your data, of course if you do not want to lose them at some point. Also, you need to make sure that the copies are active. Many people take comfort in making such a copy, but they do not know what it is (I check my disks every six months, I replace the dead ones, but I know where the data from them is). You can trust the clouds as an additional means of data storage, any cloud can happen and you can not count on its reliability. Accept by default that all your files stored outside of your physical access will be blocked at any time.

It is also important to remember that clouds can be hacked, so when archiving archives, do not forget to encrypt the data. You can not upload data archives to the cloud without any protection.

All of this sounds like something annoying and complicated, in fact, creating data archives is easy and simple. The important thing is that you make it a habit and find time for it. Then everything will be very simple and easy, your data will not be lost or reduce the risk of such loss. I hope you heed my advice and develop your habit and how to store data so that it is not lost.

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