Understand the different types of backup and what will work best for your needs
Realistically, I can think of only a few things that could happen to your computer. One possibility is the computer’s hard drive dying, whereas another possibility is that your computer gets stolen or broken into. There are also many other things that could go wrong with your computer, from simple issues with your OS (operating system), like viruses or adware/spyware to more drastic issues like hardware/software incompatibility and possibly even malicious software.
All too often, these problems just have to do with Windows 10 (or, more specifically, the one thing that affects many PC users: unfortunately, Microsoft’s operating system has some bugs which can cause problems). For example, if your computer starts up with a BSOD (which you can see on the screen – it looks like a blue stop sign), then you know that Windows is not working properly. Trust me on this – I’ve been there and done that.
Systems with viruses, spyware, adware, etc. always seem to have problems. In my experience, it’s been a lot more complicated than just installing the latest security software and then being done with things. There are so many different ways that malware can get into a computer (from getting on through the OS itself or even through un-patched applications).
Schedule regular backups to occur automatically
I recommend setting up a scheduled task which will do a backup once a week, so that you are not manually backing up daily and missing something. You can make this task run at night, since some people have more problems with computer problems at nighttime. Another way to ensure that your backups are done automatically is using a remote connection to access your computer when you’re away, otherwise back up becomes a manual process.
The first thing is to set up the backup schedule. In Windows XP, you are able to configure it using the “Backup” utility of XP, or if you have a Plus or Premium version, then use the “System Tools” utility.
Test your backups regularly to ensure they are working properly
I recommend testing your backups before you store any important files on them, just so you know that the software is working correctly. In Windows, use Mini Tool Partition Wizard or GParted to create a live .img file of your hard drive. In Linux use dd or another similar tool to do the same thing. In both cases, your file should be the same size or smaller than the original file. If you have a linux system, you can use dd to verify that your backup is working correctly.
Here is what I usually do with my daily backups:
Backup my system files (including the boot sector of the hard drive) and application files to an external location. I use a hard disk to store these backup copies, and make sure that this backup has been tested by running it through another computer. In Windows, use Mini Tool Partition Wizard also. In Linux, use dd or some other similar tool.
Backup my documents files from the external hard disk to an external drive.
Create a daily snapshot of the root file system in order to roll back to a known good version of the file tree in case I want to restore my system or files from that day. To do so, use the rsync command (called sync in some versions of linux) or whatever other method you normally use. This will make it easier to restore your system if you ever have to do this.
Here is what I do on my personal server.
Store your backups in a safe place that is both accessible and secure
I recommend storing your backups where no one will notice them, but where you’ll be able to find them easily. My personal preference is a fire-proof safe in the house. Another possible place would be an offsite location in case of fire or theft (but still secure). Other options include locked filing cabinets or safes, or maybe a secure server. Remember, no matter where you put your backups, make sure it’s accessible and easy to find from a remote location. You never know when you may need to access your backups.
Backing up your computer is a critical aspect of any computer user’s routine maintenance. However, simply backing up your data is not enough. To back up properly, you must also protect your backup media from fire or theft. If that sounds like a lot of extra effort, it’s not; it takes less than an hour per month to protect your media in this manner and greatly increases the overall safety of your data.
This method is designed to protect your data from disasters and not from computer failure. For instance, if you lose your computer or hard disk, this won’t help.
Keep your software up-to-date so you’re protected from the latest threats
I personally use both Windows and Linux, so I take the chance to update my OS version each week. For a more secure OS, I recommend using Kaspersky’s antivirus protection to make sure the OS is protected from new malware. For example, there were several exploits for MS11-038, which automatically allowed an attacker to gain full control of your computer via a browser attack (CVE-2011-1928). Kaspersky’s antivirus protected me from this exploit and other ones like it.
The updated link is http://kaspersky.com/about/news/detail.php?id=14863
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STOP! Don’t let this happen to you!!! [by John McAfee]
A guy who calls himself “Dr. Weird” has been posting some revealing images of a new approach to hacking that most people are unaware of: remote attacks via phone lines instead of the Internet.
He says the technology is called “evil twin”. Here’s the technical explanation Dr. Weird has added to his website:
Evil Twin is a method of remote access to a target machine using an Internet connection that appears to be a regular telephone cable (i.e, T1/E1). There are no limitations on the number of computers that can be accessed through Evil Twin as long as they are connected to the same phone line.
The image he provides is an Art of War poster from 500 years ago describing an evil twin attack: