Friday, December 31
It's easier than ever to make sure copies of your most important records, documents, photos, videos, and other personal data will be readable/viewable/playable long after the hardware and software used to create the files have bitten the dust.
The four keys to safe data archiving are to choose file formats that won't become obsolete, use storage media that won't deteriorate or become inaccessible, make multiple copies stored apart, and check your archived data regularly to ensure it's still readable.
Don't get stuck with outdated data formats
Most of the files you want to archive are likely in proprietary formats, such as Microsoft Office's .doc, .xls, and .ppt for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, respectively. Despite the ubiquity of software and services that let you read and edit Office files without the Office app used to create them, these formats will become obsolete one day--perhaps sooner than you may think.
Find a storage medium with legs
If you're wondering how long the data on your CDs and DVDs will last, you're not alone. Even the experts can't agree on the expected longevity of optical media--and the same is true for magnetic tapes and disks. (The X Lab offers a detailed discussion of optical media longevity, including a brief description of the ISO standards for testing optical media.)
More than one archive, more than one place
Storing your data archive online violates two rules of safe storage: you don't have physical access to the hardware the files are stored on, and you're susceptible to the financial health of the service you're using. If the service goes under, there's no guarantee you'll be able to retrieve your data, and you have to trust in the service's ability to maintain and back up its storage servers.
Schedule regular archive checkups
For the last couple of years I've been spending a good chunk of my spare time using the free Audacity audio software to convert several thousand songs on several hundred audio cassettes to MP3s. Some of the tapes were made as far back as the mid-1970s, but most date from the 1980s and early 1990s
Generally, it is very hard to keep up with each one of these tasks. QeH2 partners with many small-to-medium businesses to eliminate these pain points and helps to make you feel safe and secure. QeH2 has the proven track record and data recovery team in place to partner with your organization, protect your data from disaster and take your business to the next level this coming year.
To read the full article, click here.
Monday, December 13
by Eric Pratt
With the Wiki Leaks drama of the past week it seems there is a lot of speculation circulating as regard to who's at risk, what can be done, and who to turn to for support. That's where QeH2 Business Solutions and IT Support comes in! With a host of Disaster Recovery, Internet Security, Network Security and protection for the small business.
With fear comes rash decisions however (exactly what hackers want). Look to avoid some of the many scares that are crippling businesses and causing them to over spend. For example, see this recent email I received from our tenant regarding just this issue, and QeH2 Partner Ian Holt's thoughts following...
WARNING: Internet usage and DoS attacks
With the arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange the largest hacker group in the world right now (Known as "Anonymous") is doing major attacks on many financial institutions like Paypal and Mastercard and internet providers like Amazon. These attacks also known as DoS (Denial of Service) attacks are usually performed by sending out massive amounts of malware which hijacks people's machines and disseminates the attack from unknowing victims machines. Occasionally these malware include Trojans and worms which will damage your machine.
As an added precaution beyond normal virus and malware protection we want all of our customers to know about this and would ask that you limit internet usage over the next three days to curtail any hijacking of your equipment. By all means, do not stop using the internet altogether but please limit your usage as much as possible for the next three days. The government is fighting back against these hackers and the major companies are working on patches to block the malware dissemination but it will take time.
I sent this to my Partner and friend Ian, he replied with the following....
"This sounds like a hoax. It's not like there is a limited amount of internet to go around. If you try to access one of the websites they attack it will be slower, but your internet usage will not affect nor increase your ability to be attacked or hijacked.
The government does fight back against hackers, the FBI has 1 (that's ONE) cybercrime expert in the state of Colorado and he's woefully behind the times. Private companies being attacked will update their security policies and block offending traffic and may experience a few hours of downtime until they control their own sites.
Erroneous parts of this email include - The Paypal BLOG site was down, not paypal. Amazon is NOT an internet provider, they are an online retailer.
This whole thing reeks of cyberhoax."
Hopefully this proves as an example that you never know what to believe, especially given the various sources. Someone played a simple hoax here but the results can and will be lost productivity, etc. When a question comes up just contact your QeH2 IT Support Technician, that's what we're here for!