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to Safeguard your Data While on Vacation:
The perils of the "working holiday" explained and covered in advance of the expedition!
Here's an except from the newsletter of Ontrack Data Recovery Services from the summer of 2003. I thought the technical tips were so helpful it was worth making into a web page. The paranoia in hotels I thought was especially notable!
Working While on Vacation? Tips for Protecting Your Valuable Data While on the Road
With the busy summer vacation season upon us, many people are preparing for camping excursions, road trips with the family or simply relaxing at the beach. Unfortunately for some, it is impossible to get away completely and leave all work behind. As a result, laptops are becoming as common as sunscreen at vacation destinations, but working remotely brings its own set of problems. Since human error is responsible for approximately 26 percent of data loss cases we see, Ontrack offers several critical tips on how people can protect their data while on the road:
Keeping Data Secure
- If you use a hotel or other public computer, take a minute to erase the computer's history files, cache files and cookie files before you finish using the machine.
- Take caution when using a hotel business centre computer to access password-protected Internet sites. Someone could attach a keystroke interceptor on the machine in an attempt to obtain user IDs and passwords.
- If you use a hotel's printer, request that the printer be turned off and restarted after you finish printing. If this precaution is not taken, a simple press of a button will allow subsequent users to reprint the last document sent through the printer.
- Make sure your portable computer is protected with its own firewall and has the most updated anti-virus software.
- If using your own laptop to get online at a hotel, be wary if you are told that you have to load "special software" to use the hotel's connection. You should not have to do anything more than start your browser to be connected.
Keeping Data Safe
- Back up all data before going on vacation and make additional backups on the road if possible.
- Only operate your laptop in a dry, shaded environment such as a hotel room or airport lounge.
- Avoid eating or drinking in close proximity to your computer.
- Check the power supply to avoid power surges.
If Damage Does Occur
- Never presume that data is lost for good, no matter how damaged the hard drive or magnetic band on a tape appears.
- Do not shake or remove a damaged hard drive.
- Do not attempt to dry a wet hard drive or data source by opening it or exposing it to a heat source, such as a hairdryer.
- Do not use utility software maintenance tools to attempt to repair damaged drives - you may make it worse.
- Do not attempt to clean the hard drive - send it to a professional, trustworthy data recovery company immediately.
Whether you leave your computer in the sun too long, get sand in the hard drive or drop the whole thing in the pool, Ontrack has experience recovering data from nearly every disaster imaginable. Follow these tips to avoid simple mistakes and make sure your data is protected - and know that Ontrack Data Recovery can help when accidents occur.
Technical Information and Training
Beginner's Guide to Data Recovery Software
Your customers experience data loss for a variety of reasons. Everything from power spikes to natural disasters can cause significant problems - but sometimes, the trouble is a result of new computer users simply not being very computer-savvy. Many new computer users don't know how to properly manage their data and a few simple precautions could help them avoid data disasters in the future. Check out these tips from Ontrack that can help new computer users protect their valuable data:
1. Use a quality power surge protector to protect your computer from power spikes.
2. Place the computer in a well ventilated area; heat and excessive dust can shorten the computer's lifespan.
3. If your computer is under your desk, place it in such a way so it doesn't get kicked.
4. Keep your Documents organised by using folders.
5. Files that frequently grow in size become fragmented; use the operating system's defragment tool or a reputable third party defragment utility.
6. Clean out your internet browser's temporary cache of viewed pages frequently. (See your internet browser's documentation for the exact cache location.)
7. Delete unwanted files to the recycle bin.
8. Do not delete important system files by hand; use your system's 'Software Uninstall' feature to remove unwanted programs.
9. Do not overwrite updated documents; use the 'Save As' option and rename the new file with a version number. (Remove older versions only when they are no longer needed.)
10. Keep your system regularly updated with updates and patches.
11. When permanently deleting files, double check to make sure they are the exact ones you want to remove.
12. Do not open email messages from people you do not know or click on suspicious message attachments.
13. Use passwords that have symbols and numbers in them; memorise your password and do not save computer passwords on paper.
14. Backup your important documents daily
15. Do not use floppy diskettes for permanent storage of important documents.
16. Verify backed up data on CD-ROM/DVD-ROM media before moving or deleting the original data.
The good people who brought you these helpful tips for saving yourself from various computer problems can recovery your data if your hard disc drive suffers an unfortunate data loss. If you have having problems right now, contact Ontrack Data Recovery Services now. If you have no disc drive problems at present, but would like to avoid the feeling of helplessness which is associated with such data problems at some future time, here's a helpful way to be prepared in advance! Have lifeboats; Hope to never need them.
Except from Newsletter by Ontrack Data Recovery Services published on Zyra's affiliate website.