The 3 Most Expensive Computer Disasters
And How To Avoid Them
Have you ever lost an hour of work on your computer? Now imagine if you lost a day or weeks of work – or even ALL of the files, databases, pictures, music, and financial information you have ever produced or compiled. It’s a pretty scary thought yet most small businesses and home users are wide open to this level of data loss simply because they are not adequately prepared. Every day new viruses, hackers, software glitches, and even hardware malfunctions threaten the safety of your computer or network and the information it holds. Then there are the often overlooked, but very real disasters caused by storms, theft, fire, or flood. Companies or individuals that experience these types of disasters rarely recover unless they have taken and properly executed the preventative maintenance steps outlined here. Here is how to avoid the 3 most expensive computer disasters.
Why Small Business And Home Users Are Especially Vulnerable To These Disasters
Most small businesses (and especially home users) don’t have a full-time, dedicated IT staff supporting and maintaining their network. Most just set up their computer or network and use it until it stops working.
Unless the user/owner is somewhat of an expert themselves, there is a good chance that no one is paying any attention to whether or not files are backed up properly, if the virus protection is up-to-date, or if critical software patches are installed. Without this basic maintenance, you are extremely vulnerable to attacks and even more susceptible to losing everything in the event of a virus or crash.
3 Things You Can Do Right Now To Protect Yourself
While it’s impossible to plan for every potential computer disaster or emergency, there are a few easy and inexpensive measures you can put into place that will help you avoid the vast majority of computer disasters you could experience. I strongly recommend that you protect yourself from these top 3 most expensive computer disasters at a minimum.
Computer Protection Tip #1: Keep Up-To-Date Virus Protection Installed. You would have to be living under a rock to not know how devastating a virus can be to your computer or network. And with virus attacks coming from spam, data and music files, web sites, and even emails from friends, you cannot afford to not be protected. At a minimum, I recommend you buy Symantec or McAfee. McAfee will automatically notify you when new updates are available every time you log on to your computer making it easy for you to stay up-to-date.
I would also advise you to NEVER open suspicious looking emails or attachments. You also want to make sure anyone else using your computer knows this as well. When in doubt, err on the side of caution and delete it immediately!
Finally, avoid downloading music, free software, or other files from unknown websites. One of the WORST types of sites to visit are peer to peer file sharing sites. These websites are breeding grounds for viruses and you are practically asking to get infected.
Computer Protection Tip #2: Set Up A Firewall. Small business owners and home users tend to think that because they are “just a small business” or “Just a home user” no on e would waste time trying to hack into their network, but nothing could be further from the truth.
A test run conducted an experiment by connecting a single computer to the internet with no firewall. Within hours, over 13 gigabytes of space was taken over with malicious code and files that could not be deleted.
There are thousands of unscrupulous individuals out there who think it’s fun to disable your computer with malicious code. these individuals strike randomly by searching the internet for open, unprotected ports. As soon as they find one, they will delete files or download huge files that cannot be deleted shutting down your hard drive. When this happens, you will need to re-format the entire machine.
You have a few options to protect yourself. First, set up a firewall. This is not 100% bullet proof but it will go a long way in keeping the majority of hackers off your machine. Ideally, you want to purchase a router to stand between you and the Internet.
Computer Protection Tip #3: Properly Back Up Your Files. According to IDC roughly 80% of small businesses and home office PC users have crucial data that is not backed up on a regular basis. All too often this happens because users are “too busy” to perform backups.
This is like saying you’re too busy driving your car to put your seatbelt on. Taking that simple preventative step of buckling up doesn’t really show its true value until you get into a head-on collision; at that point, you are either extremely relieved that you had it in place or incredibly sorry you didn’t.
Your data is constantly at risk due to hardware failure, human error, software corruption, PC viruses, theft, and physical disaster. The only way to make sure you are protected from losing your files is to make sure you have a good, reliable backup.
If you have 2 or more computers, the first thing you want to do is network all of the computers in your office and consolidate the files to one machine. Not only will this make backups easier and more reliable, but it will also allow you to organize your data better. Next, duplicate and store all computer files in a space separate from your computer’s hard drive.
Want Help Securing Your Network Or Computer From These Disasters?
If you need help selecting and setting up a good anti-virus software, firewall, and system backup, give us a call at (608) 755-1524 or visit computer-center.com/contact/ for any of your computer-related needs.