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Archive for November, 2012

How To Avoid Suspicious Software

My post sold software you did not pay for, generated the question from several people “how do I avoid getting into the situation in the first place?”  Here are 6 quick tips to protect both you and your data from potential fraud:

1.  Be aware of the “Awesome Deal” A software/hardware deal that sounds too good to be true probably is.  For example: a desktop computer (depending on hardware) with a Windows 7 operating system from Future Shop starts at around $500, and this is without MS Office.  Office 2010 Home and Business is another $350.  Getting the whole package at $350 would be more than a clearance sale.

2.  Purchase from authorized dealers When purchasing software, ensure you or your IT support are purchasing from authorized dealers, whether it’s Microsoft, Adobe, Future Shop, etc.

3.  Always ask for proof of purchase If your IT support is purchasing the software on your behalf, make sure you have a copy of the official receipt from the vendor.  This will ensure that if you ever have an issue with the software, you are entitled to software support.

4.  Always ask for the product or license key Ensure you have the appropriate product or license key (i.e. Microsoft sticker on the side of the computer, a license key within the packaging, an official document from the vendor, etc.).  You should have a valid product and/or license key for each copy of software that you have purchased.  If your IT support purchased the software on your behalf, they should be providing you with proper documentation from the vendor with the product or license key.  Again, this ensures that you can contact the vendor for support if required.

5.  Purchase currently supported software Your brand-new system should have current software.  For example: a system purchased in 2012 should come with Microsoft Office 2010 (the latest release is Office 2010).

6.  Purchase the correct edition for your needs A small business with less than 25 desktop systems would not need Enterprise Edition, designed for environments with 250+ desktops.  A better solution would be Windows Small Business Server Essentials for Windows Server Standard.

These 6 guidelines will help you avoid potential scams and ensure that both you and your data are protected. Have you ever felt unsure about your software?

3-2-1 Ready…Now Backup!

It’s Thursday morning and an acquaintance emails saying that she can’t load Windows.  After troubleshooting via email, it was decided that a full clean re-install was required.  Unfortunately, she lost all of the pictures on her system.  I asked if she had a backup, and you can probably guess the answer.

Yes, we have all been there, a hard disk fails, you can’t find the USB you put the critical files on, etc.  In the tech industry, there is something we call the 3-2-1 backup strategy.  It’s a very simple procedure to help keep your data recoverable if something was to happen.

Ready…here we go.

3 – You must have 3 copies of your data.  One copy should be on your hard disk (your working copy). The other 2 copies could be on an USB drive, an external hard drive or a cloud service.

2 – You must have your data on 2 different media.  Again, one copy would be on your hard disk, the other could be on an USB drive, or DVD.

1 – You must keep one of the copies off-site. You can accomplish this by taking a backup set of DVDs to a friend, or use a cloud service.  Consider this: if your office was to experience a fire or flood etc, would you be able to recover your backups?

Both Windows and Mac have built in backup software to help make this procedure easy and automatic.

Following these 3 simple steps will help keep your data safe and recoverable.   If you are unsure of how to best keep your data safe, please contact your IT Professional.  He or she can help develop a backup strategy that best meets your needs.

Don’t learn the lesson the hard way.

Categories: backups, Cloud Tags: , , , ,
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