22 Apr

Remember to Spring Clean Your Electronic Devices

When most people think about spring cleaning, they focus on cleaning up their homes, getting rid of excess clutter, and making some renovations or improvements to their living spaces. However, they tend to overlook spring cleaning their electronic devices too!

Remember to Spring Clean Your Electronic Devices
Over the course of a year, you can acquire a large amount of data from pictures and videos to email messages and files. It can be beneficial to set aside a few hours to go through your devices and get rid of anything on them you no longer want, need or use.
In some cases, some of the data you no longer want that is stored on your devices could contain sensitive information. Deleting any data like this you no longer need can help reduce the risks of having it stolen by a hacker.
As you are going through the data on your devices, also remember to review your software apps. It is not uncommon to have downloaded an app to try it out. Maybe you used it for a few months, but now, no longer even use it.
Some devices now have a feature that allow you to “off-load” apps you do not use that often. Rather than fully delete the app from the device, it retains essential data for the app, but deletes everything else. When you need to use the app, you just click on it and it will download and reinstall the data it deleted when you “off-loaded” it.
Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Devices
Before you start deleting data off your devices, it is a good idea to make a complete data backup. This way if you accidently delete something you wanted to keep, it will still be in your data backup. You can back up data to an external storage device, burn it to DVD or Blu-Ray, or upload it to the Cloud.
• For large data files, like videos and pictures, using a large storage capacity external device or the Cloud is often better than burning them to disc.
• For sensitive data that contains personal information or proprietary business information, make sure the files are password protected if you do not delete them.
• Never keep attachments with sensitive data in email accounts. Instead, download the file and delete the email. Only keep the file for an extended period of time if you absolutely must do so.
• If you “sync” data between devices, sync them before you spring clean the data. Additionally, make sure to spring clean both devices before doing another sync. Otherwise you could end up with data back on the device you just cleaned up.
If you accidently delete data and forgot to include it in your backup, or experience a device failure and want to attempt to recover data, help is available from Taking It Mobile. We offer professional data recovery services for individuals and businesses across Canada, with mobile assistance to get the failed device into our lab in the GTA. Please feel free to contact us at 888.877.5002 or 1-888-Call-TIM today!

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20 Mar

Data Storage 101: Data Storage Options

You have a wide range of options when it comes to data storage these days. From desktop and laptop computers to mobile devices and networked servers, your data could be saved in numerous locations. In order to effectively determine what type of data storage is best for your needs, you need to understand the different data storage options.

 

Data Storage 101: Data Storage Options

1. Hard Disk Drives

Hard disk drives have long been one of the most widely used forms of data storage. They are found in desktops, laptops, and network servers. Their storage capacities range from a few gigabytes to several terabytes. Maximum storage capacities continue to increase on a regular basis.

2. Optical Discs

Optical discs are CDs, DVDs, and Blu-ray disks that have a limited amount of storage space. Lasers cut grooves into the discs to indicate the data. In addition, most discs are write once and they cannot be overwritten. As data changes, you have to use a new disc to save any changes.

The main benefit of optical discs is unless they get broken, they do offer a fairly effective way at backing up data. Yet, if you have terabytes of data to backup, then they are not the best option.

3. Flash Memory Devices

This type of data storage includes a wide range of products. Flash memory is found in smartphones, tablets, SD memory cards, CF memory cards, USB sticks, digital cameras, portable gaming devices, and more. You can even increase internal built-in flash memory on certain devices by adding a flash memory card.

Flash memory data storage is a good choice when you use smaller devices or need to transfer data between two devices quickly. Flash memory comes in varying sizes, with 512 gigabytes currently being the largest option. 1 terabyte cards are expected to be released in the near future.

4. Solid State Drives

Flash memory data storage is considered a type of solid state storage. This technology is what was used to create solid state drives. As such, these drives are still a fairly new technology. They are used in computers and network servers in place of hard disk drives.

Instead of having moving platters, disks, and arms that read, write, and retrieve data, they use small flash memory chips and have no moving parts or components. They come in varying sizes just like hard disk drives, but tend to cost more.

5. Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is another data storage option. It does require a secure internet connection to save, update, and retrieve data. Some businesses are moving to Cloud-based computing where they run all of their apps directly from the Cloud.

Essentially, there is unlimited data storage available. However, you do need to remember while you are accessing your data via the Internet, it is still stored on some type of conventional data storage device, such as hard disk drives or solid state drives.

With so many data storage options, there are still risks that certain devices will eventually wear out and crash. When this happens, unless you have a recent backup, all of your data could be lost.

Fortunately, all may not be lost thanks to expert data recovery services. If you have a damaged or non-working data storage device with data you need, please feel free to contact Taking It Mobile at 888.877.5002 or 1-800-Call-TIM today! If we cannot recover your data there is never a charge.

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24 Feb

Employees Leaving? Why You Need to Back-up Their Hard Drives

Employees come and go at various times throughout the year. However, the number of people that tend to switch employers is typically much higher from mid-January through the end of February.

Employees Leaving Why You Need to Back-up Their Hard Drives

Most employers tend to put off hiring new employees over the holidays. If they follow a traditional fiscal year, January is when new budgets begin that include creating new positions and hiring new employees.

Anytime you receive notice an employee is leaving, it is vital to do a full back-up of their hard drives and other storage devices. It is not uncommon, even with network and cloud-based storage, for employees to download and store company data and files on their computer’s hard drive, on jump drives, on company issues smartphone and tablets, and so on.

There are various methods you can use to perform a full data back-up. You could upload the data to your network or cloud-based storage. You could copy data onto an external hard drive or USB drive. You could even clone the drive onto a different computer using the right software app. No matter which method you choose, you will want to start the process sooner rather than later.

On the off chance the employee is disgruntled for any reason, the last thing you want to deal with is attempting to recover data from a hard drive or other storage device they formatted. Even though there is always a possibility the data might be able to be recovered, this should be your last option, not the first.

You will also want to start to transfer their job responsibilities, data files, projects, other such business critical tasks to other employees. This helps eliminate any risks with the employee deleting, accidently or on purpose, any vital data you will still require after they leave your business.

Data Back-up Tip: Do not forget to also make a back-up of their email file. There could be important communications and you want to make sure nothing goes missing or falls through the cracks.

Aside from ensuring your company’s data has been backed-up, there is one other important thing you need to do: Disable all of their user accounts. Some employers overlook shutting off access to various systems after employees leave.

In some cases, like where employees connect to a virtual server, they could still have access from their home computers. Furthermore, after disabling the accounts and access, you should delete them entirely. You do not want to end up with numerous accounts that are inactive and could still potentially have access to one or more areas you overlooked.

Companies that have multiple accounts from departed employees place their network and data at risk of breaches from hackers. These accounts are often prime targets for hackers since they are not being used. Once a hacker gets access, it could create even more data nightmares for your business.

If you have a hard drive or storage device that was accidently erased or formatted by a former employee, or have one that fails unexpectedly, please feel free to contact Taking It Mobile at 888.877.5002 or 1-888-Call-TIM today to discuss potential data recovery options!

 

 

 

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20 Jan

What Will Become of Hard Disk Drives in the Future?

One question a lot of people have is what is going to happen to hard disk drives (HDDs) now that we have solid state drives (SSDs). One might assume that SSDs are going to displace HDDs much like DVDs did to CDs and Blu-rays have done to DVDs. Before you start buying up all the HDDs on the market to have a supply in the future, you need to know HDDs are not going anywhere.

What Will Become of Hard Disk Drives in the Future

First of all, the cost for high capacity SSDs is quite expensive once you start taking about terabytes of storage space. Many people and businesses still cannot afford to cross over that threshold. Not surprisingly, HDDs with larger terabyte drives tend to cost less and fit the budgets of most people and businesses better.

Next, SSD is still a fairly new technology. This means the costs of the technology have not equalized and started to decline yet. It could be another ten years before prices on SSDs become more competitive with HDDs.

Another reason HDDs are not going anywhere is because two of the biggest HDD manufacturers have released information on new HDDs in development. Both Western Digital and Seagate have announced they are working on much bigger and faster HDDs.

Currently, you can find 8 TB, 10 TB, and 12 TB HDDs, with plans on a 14 TB drive sometime later this year. Both manufacturers have plans to keep increasing the maximum drive space up to 40 TB within the next five to seven years.

Increased storage capacities is just half of what is to come with HDDs. Both of these manufacturers are also working on different ways to improve the performance and speed of HDDs – one of the big selling points right now for SSDs. If these manufacturers can develop an effective method for increasing speeds of HDDs, then they will be even more competitive with SSDs.

Currently, the platters within HDDs have actuators arms on top and bottom which read and write date to the platters. However, while all the actuators do move in tandem with each other, only one is actually writing to the platter at a time.

One possible method that is being explored is the use of multiple read/write actuators. Using this method would allow for two (or more) sets of actuators to be used to read and write data simultaneously on the platters. This would effectively double the speed of HDDs.

This idea is not new, but has been impractical for numerous years because of the costs to develop it. With recent advances in technologies, now the costs for the components to develop faster processing HDDs has dropped. So it is no longer a possibility, but something that is actually being developed.

Both the increased storage capacities and faster speeds are great news for HDDs as they are given a new lease on life. No matter whether you use HDDs or SSDs, always remember to back-up your data on a regular basis. If you forgot and your HDD or SSD crashed, it may be possible to recover data using our data recovery services by calling Taking It Mobile at 888.877.5002 or 1-888-Call-TIM today!

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25 Dec

Email Flaw Makes Phishing Easier with “MailSploit”

Phishing email attacks are nothing new. You get a bunch of random emails that look like they were sent from known friends and businesses. Yet, when you hover over the actual email address you see that it is fake with some weird string of numbers and letters, so you know it is a phishing scam.

Email Flaw Makes Phishing Easier with “MailSploit”

Many email clients also have features where they look for these types of emails and move them to a “spam” or “junk mail” folder. Some clients even allow you to mark the emails as phishing scams. However, even with these advances, there is a new vulnerability that is making it easier for those individuals and groups that practice in “black hat” phishing scams called “MailSploit.”

The vulnerability was discovered recently by a security research technician in Germany named Sabri Haddouche. The vulnerability has to do with how email clients interpret the data in the “from” data field in emails.

Currently, there is an old standard still in practice by numerous email clients from 1992 that is called RFC-1342. This standard requires all header data in emails to be converted into ASCII character data. If the email client encounters non-ASCII formats, it converts it into the appropriate ASCII character.

Where the vulnerability stems from is after the email clients convert non-ASCII data into ASCII character formats, the clients never go back to re-scan the header data for malware or viruses. In addition, there is a secondary vulnerability that can be hidden within the header data content.

The RFC-1342 standard also cannot address issues with multiple email addresses in the header data or null-byte data types. In other words, if the email client encountered two or more email addresses in the header data, the only one read and verified for ACSII format is the first email address.

As a result, hackers and others that use “black hat” tactics could essentially hide malware, viruses, and other payloads using one or both of these vulnerabilities. For email recipients, it would appear like the email came from someone they trusted and knew.

Upon opening the email, there could be a “trigger” that installs a malicious program or virus onto the device. In some cases, there could be clickable links embedded in the email and once clicked, download and install malicious programs onto the device.

There are thirty-plus email clients affected by the vulnerability. However, Gmail is not one of them. Those email clients affected include:

  • Mozilla Thunderbird
  • AOL Mail
  • Outlook
  • Yahoo! Mail
  • Opera
  • Mail for Windows 10
  • Spark
  • Apple Mail of iOS/macOS
  • ProtonMail

Out of the affected email clients, so far eight companies have released patches to fix the vulnerability and a dozen others are in process of developing a patch to fix the problem.

In the event you accidentally open a phishing email that causes your device to crash or causes your storage device to fail, please feel free to contact the data recovery experts at Taking It Mobile at 888.877.5002 (1-888-Call-TIM) today!

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18 Nov

Signs Your Computer Has Been Hacked

The sense of protection knowing we have an antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-spam software installed on our devices can lead to a false sense of security. Today’s hackers and cyber attackers are developing malicious apps and other hacks faster than the software companies that offer protection can respond.

Signs Your Computer Has Been Hacked

Knowing how to tell if you have been hacked sooner, rather than later can help stop potential data loss and avoid identity theft. Some telltale signs you might notice could include: read more

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24 Oct

Protect Yourself from Ransomware with Regular Data Backups

Ransomware has been a trending topic in the IT industry that is not going away. Initially, businesses were targets of these “black-hat” operatives, who would hold their data “hostage” until a ransom was paid.

Some businesses that were hit had their proprietary data held hostage. Sadly for them, they did not have a data backup to turn to. As a result, several of the businesses ended up paying out thousands to tens of thousands of dollars or more just to have their data released.

Protect Yourself from Ransomware with Regular Data Backups

In some cases, even after the business paid the ransom, the data was still not released and the ransomware remained on the computer. Today, ransomware attacks have expanded from businesses and now are also affecting individuals. read more

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21 Sep

Does Your Backup Need Its Own Backup?

You never know when you will go to turn on your computer and hear a “click, click, click” of the hard drive and nothing happens. But, computers are not the only devices at risk of failure. Your smartphone or tablet could also fail at any time from being dropped or some other type of malfunction.

Does Your Backup Need Its Own Backup?

Even though people have numerous options available to back up their data, there are still many who do not. In addition, there are different types of data backup methods and using the right ones are equally important. Depending on which ones you use, your backup might need its own backup, too. read more

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28 Aug

Are There Safety Issues with Cloud-Based Storage?

Apple’s iCloud has been under attack recently by hackers with different incidents going all the way back to January of this year. The more recent ones, were a series of threats that made the news in late March. This raises the question of just how secure Cloud-based storage really is and whether uploading all of your data to the Cloud is truly safe.

Are There Safety Issues with Cloud-Based Storage?

 

Here’s what you need to know: read more

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20 Jul

Are Personal Computers Going Extinct?

In recent years, the number of personal computer (PC) sales for both desktop and laptop computers has been on a steady downward decline. Part of the reason for the reduction in sales stems from people being able to do most everything they want on their smartphone or tablet device, and even some things they cannot on a PC.

Are Personal Computers Going Extinct

Some analysts are predicting the PC will be extinct within the next ten to fifteen years as new and emerging technologies continue to change how people access content offline and online. Others have a more reserved look at this technology market segment and believe the PC will still be around for quite some time. However, the PC as we know it will be transformed to make it more competitive with portable devices. read more

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