Family and Friends, please pay attention – Backups

Family and Friends, please pay attention. This is very important and could save you a lot of frustration and emotional heart breaks.

People’s lives are stored on computers and devices. Every one takes digital photos, and most people save them on computers. Some do not even do that and just leave it on phones. I want you to think about this for a minute. Where are your wedding photos and video’s? What about your children’s important moments like school performances, sporting events and birthdays?  What about the photos of loved ones, boyfriends, girl friends, husbands, wives and parents.

I hope I have your attention and have you thinking now. So hear me out as an IT professional. Most people do not make backups. The people that do make backups use manual methods that are not consistent; myself I am just as guilty. My Time keeps reminding me it has been 43 days as of when I write this of my last backup. (I am actually safe because I use iCloud as well).

Two reasons off the start why this is not good enough if you are one of those people that thinks they are backing up.

  • It is manual, you will eventually forget to do it, or get complacent because nothing has happened and stop doing it.
  • This hardly protects you, except for if you accidently delete a file or your hard drive crashes or you lost your laptop.

The concerns are, natural disaster and your home is destroyed. Think wild fires for small towns, floods near rivers, a house fire, earth quakes and super hero’s from space fighting it out on your lawn. Ok I admit I watch to many marvel movies. The greatest concern these days is ransomware viruses. These are viruses that infect your computer, encrypt all the files and they demand payment to restore it. A regular external hard drive plugged in USB is not immune to this at all. It will become part of the encrypted mess thus, your backups are gone too.

The only solution is to have two kinds of backups, one that is offsite and the local one to be inaccessible to the user. It is such a small price to pay to preserve such a important part of your life.

Now I work for a IT company and we offer protection for a very affordable price. But this isn’t about bringing business to the company I work for. I want my friends and family to be safe so I will tell you what you need to do on your own but would encourage you to use my company. If not for yourself think about parents and grand parents that are not tech savvy that could use our help.

Step 1: Get a network attached storage device. They care called a NAS. If this is your only method of backup you should get one with two hard drives. If you will be using offsite backups as well then you can get away with a single drive but it is not recommended.

Step 2: Configure the device with a login account with a secure password.

Step 3: Configure backup software to connect to it via this secure login. The software is totally free for Windows Computers, and Mac’s have many options to. DO NOT set this up as a drive to use for yourself. It is only for backups. The second you make it a mounted drive you lose protection from Viruses.

Step 4: Setup internet backups in the cloud. I can provide this for a very cheap monthly price and our data center is located here in BC, so nothing is going out of the country. But you can also use Dropbox, Apple iCloud, Microsoft OneDrive and so on.

I really don’t care which of the cloud providers you use, each have different strengths and weaknesses. The NAS box I recommend has the ability to sync up to these services directly as well making this process automated. FYI my company offers as much storage for the same prices.

So that is my rant, think about how important your files are, besides pictures work files, documents and receipts and other things. You might be thinking I am safe, all my photos are in my facebook. Well that is true until you get banned or hacked.

Single Drive NAS box that can also connect to online services like DropBox to automate offsite backups

Prices are as of the posting of this, they can change in the future and is a guide only. Small shipping charge for sending completed units, NAS box plus Hard Drives setup. Setting up the backup system which is done remotely over the internet has a small charge as well.

Qnap 1 Bay, I can do for $230 plus Tax (No Hard Drive)

Qnap 2 Bay, I can do for $275 plus Tax (No Hard Drives)

Hard Drives, for the 2 Bay NAS you need two Hard Drives.

1 TB Ironwolf Hard Drive, I can do for $85 plus tax

2 TB Ironwolf Hard Drive, I can do for $120 plus Tax

3 TB Ironwolf Hard Drive, I can do for $148 plus Tax

4 TB Ironwolf Hard Drive, I can do for $182 plus Tax

6 TB Ironwolf Hard Drive, I can do for $285 plus Tax

8 TB Ironwolf Hard Drive, I can do for $365 plus Tax

10 TB Ironwolf Hard Drive, I can do for $500 plus Tax

The recommended software for Windows computers I suggest is Veeam Endpoint Backup. It is free but you do have to register with a real email address to get the download link.

Lastly, you can use corporate level high protection Antivirus for a fraction of the price, I can make it available to home users. You do not get the managed service for this price, which is central monitoring by our security department for problems. Nevertheless, this Antivirus has special capabilities that help protect from ransomware viruses. However, nothing is perfect so the most important thing is backups.

You can watch the video of this antivirus here at

The filter add on for the Internet Browser does a good job keeping users safe. The file monitoring it does on unknown files and roll back capability of changes my by those unknown untrusted files is the strong point of why its better to use a paid product over free antivirus that comes with Windows.

I can offer this for $60 a year per computer, for more then 3 I can offer a small discount.

If you have read all this, good on you. If you do not want to use my company for your personal security needs then by all means use what I have posted above to secure yourself. At the end of the day I want my friends and family and the friends and family of my friends to be safe. I provided retail links to the recommended devices and hardware, my suggestions for setup is listed. The free backup software is linked and some people already have lots of online storage already and can use it for backups. If you do want this professionally setup and to use the services the company I work for by all means contact me.

The importance of off site backups

1468377492_866fa1c772_zAsk yourself this question and answer yourself truthfully. If my computer was to get stolen tonight, what have I just lost that I can’t get back. Can you remember everything on your computer that is important? Some tax returns here, the kids school word documents there. A weeks worth of work on a report intended for the bosses desk in the morning. Some important photos not uploaded to Facebook yet or chat history with a love one. You might even be thinking I got nothing really important on that computer. But then a month later you remember something that was.



2291127824_087a497bea_zBut really home robberies are so rare, its not really something to worry about. And myself personally computer theft if not that high on my list. So what about a natural or human caused disaster. Perhaps a fire or a flood does the computer in. For many of us this is a far greater concern and a more likely possibility depending where you live. So its something that gets a passing thought every year at insurance renewal time.




15462325023_85083999b2_zRansomware… Have you every herd of it? Yes, in passing? But you are not really sure what it is. Ransomware is the new kid on the block, and have been poking its ugly head around for the last couple years. And because early versions of this have been so successful financially for criminals a lot of hackers and other criminals have copied the methods and type of attack causing a big increase in Ransomware attacks.

Ransomware is pretty ingenious when you think about it. Traditionally Viruses would do things like make itself noticed on the computer so the maker of it got famous. It was a game. Others used viruses to steal documents from computers to sell on the black market. I really do wonder what a SIN /SS number is worth these days on the black market. But most of the time these viruses at worst only crippled the computer and the data was actually safe. Ransomware is different. It is designed to hold your data hostage. Using strong encryption methods Ransomware will encrypt all your data and demand money to release it. Most of the time those that paid didn’t actually get the data back. And the files are lost for ever because no recovery method can actually recover an encrypted file unless a super computer is involved, and lots of years to break it. You might remember that last year the FBI had some problems getting data off a iPhone that was encrypted.

The only real solution and viable option of protecting data from Ransomeware, theft and natural disaster is off site backups that are automatic. External hard drives, USB drives, tape backups, zip drives and yes I just said zip drive just so the young ones can go look up what is a zip drive, all offer the same kind of protection. That is, if the person making the backups remembers to A) test the backup media and recovery options, B) remembers to plug in the backup drive, C) remembers to unplug it when completed and D) actually take it to a secure location like work or a friends house or in the case of a business a secure storage facility like Iron Mountain. The failure in this method is, well, humans. Face it we suck. We are inconsistent with what we need to do, and get easily preoccupied with other tasks. We tend to let things slide with a “I will do this tomorrow” mentality but tomorrow never actually comes. The fact is most of us fail to maintain such a routine and because nothing bad happens for a very long time we get complacent with not doing it.

Automatic offsite backups through the internet solves almost all of these problems. While not 100% perfect since technology can sometimes break, for the most part the Automatic nature of offsite backups means you are well protected and never need to lift a finger. Additionally its off-site which means its protected from all the the above. Network servers and attached backup devices are susceptible to a virus. If you can save your work on it, a Virus can ruin that work since a virus will have at least as much access to stuff as you do.

So if you have questions about off-site backups or would like help to get setup to protect all the unimportant data and those few really important things you can’t think of until its gone kind of files then give me a shout to set you up.

Image Credits
Broken Window – Jon Collier Image License
Computer on Fire – Matt Mets Image License
Virus – Yuri Samoilov Image License