Are you backing up your computer at least once per month? Set a repeating reminder on your calendar or use an online service below to make sure it’s always being backed up. Ransomware is easy to get on Windows via an email or through a website even if it is secure and has antivirus protection. Unplug your external after the backup. Ransomware will target anything if it’s connected to your computer.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a virus that changes your wallpaper to a message to pay a ransom to unencrypt all your files (one by one). Some people pay large sums of money through Bitcoin or other untraceable services and never receive the key to unencrypt their files and some do receive it but they have to manually go file by file to unencrypt them. It will affect all your Restore Points, on Windows, by deleting the shadow copies and every file on your computer will be encrypted. Ransomware goes by many names but as soon as you see that wallpaper, immediately shut down your computer and do not even bother to run any anti-virus/anti-malware softwares on it. Seek out a tech that has experience with it and knows where to look to fix it.
I’ve had three of these jobs already. Some had a backup, others hadn’t done one in a year and I wasn’t able to recover any files, another didn’t have anything but I was able to recover half of their files. Don’t put off your backups.
I recommend two hard drives in one. Buy a 4TB combined dual-hard drive and set it up make a copy of each file between drives (RAID 1), if one fails you still have all your files. Setting up RAID 1, if you have a total of 4TB, then you’ll have 2TB. Changing RAID, after you’ve saved a few files, will corrupt your files.
Does the hard drive support your computer?
Mac saves files in a Journaled format. Windows/Linux saves in NTFS/FAT32 format. Newer Macs after OS X, can read Windows drives to copy off files. Windows cannot read Journaled hard drives.
Online storage, store any file (always good to have a second backup)
- Apple iCloud: $19.99/month = ~ $240/year / 1TB (Terabyte = 1,000 GB)
- Google Drive: $9.99/month = ~ $120/year / 1TB
- CrashPlan: 1 year plan at $5/month with mobile access = $60/year / Unlimited / Win/Mac/Linux support / If you have a network backup, use their free plan.
- Carbonite: $60/year with no mobile access / Unlimited / Win/Mac limited technology
Offline storage, store any file (cheaper and safer)
- 1TB external hard drive from Western Digital = $50 ~ $180, one-time payment