A disaster recovery plan is critical for the health of every small business but, only 25% of the businesses I encounter have a plan in place. Personally, I Feel this is because business owners don’t have a clear idea on what needs to be done; not knowing where to begin, they put off building a disaster recovery plan. A good Plan starts with backing up Business Critical Data.
So Just What is Business Critical Data?
Business critical data includes information your business could not recover if it were lost. Any small business disaster recovery plan should focus on keeping this irreplaceable data safe. That data might include:
- Customer information
- Email correspondence
- Financial records and information
- Sales and shipping records
- Insurance, vendor and employee contact information
- LAN and WAN Network diagrams and IT vendor service level agreements
- Telephone service level agreements
- Drawings or Specification documents
- HR records
- Video or audio records
- Procedures and Policies
- Quality and product tracking records
- Inventory records
- Certificates and Licenses
- Security information
- Manuals, books and other products created for and by your business
- Offsite storage indexes which include what is stored off site, where it’s stored, and when it was update.
Now you have a idea of what Business Critical Data is you can begin putting together your Disaster Recovery Plan.
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The Conduit Virus (shown above), is a piece of malware that redirects your browser to search.conduit.com, an internet search engine. There is also a Conduit toolbar that can get installed on your computer. The malware will hijack your browser, and add toolbars and change your default search engine and homepage. It puts files on your computer that can restore it if you try to change these settings back.
Apart from changing your browser settings, this virus can also compromise your computer’s safety and even your personal safety. This is because this virus spies on your internet activities. This is how it is able to display the pop-up ads. If you use your computer for financial and personal transactions, it may get the passwords and private information. If this information gets into wrong hands, it can lead to internet fraud and identity theft. It turns out that this is a spyware and backdoor of the worst imaginable kind. Even worse, it will open up your computer to all kinds of additional malicious applications from third parties, which can be installed without you even noticing, once the primary backdoor is open. This virus can also lead to computer crashing and slow down. This is because it corrupts your system files and is takes up space on your system memory.
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- Keep all of your working files in one folder. The My Documents folder is offered by Windows expressly for this purpose. The benefits of keeping all your files in one place are multiple. One, you know where all your files are, two, it’s easy to back them all up at once, and three, your machine will run faster.
- Don’t put your personal files on the root of the C: drive. If you store a large number of files in the root folder, you could corrupt your disk file table which could lead to a “NTLDR is missing” error message when you boot the computer. Very bad. If you have personal files on the C: drive now, move them to the My Documents folder.
- Uninstall programs that you are not using. But don’t just delete the program. Remove it correctly! so you won’t cause Windows errors. Go to Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs. Find the program you want to remove in the list, and click the Remove button.
- If you download a zip file and expand it, delete the original zip file when you are done.
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Clean the LCD screen with a soft dry cloth. If the screen is really dirty, use distilled water, applying limited amounts to the cloth, never spray water or any liquid directly onto a computer screen or use a laptop screen cleaning kit. Apply light pressure as you wipe the screen because LCD screens can crack under direct concentrated pressure. Never uses an Ammonia based cleaner on your laptop screen it will damage the display
Computers require maintenance on a regular basis. Maintaining and repairing your computer ensures it operates error-free instead of making you frustrated. Read these free computer repair tips:
Defragmentation of the computer system is necessary to prevent it from slowing down on performance. Neglecting this results longer wait times when searching for files and opening programs. Defragmenting also streamlines bits of other programs and files that have been deleted or uninstalled, and that have been distributed randomly in the system, taking up unnecessary memory space.
Installing anti-virus software helps prevent system crashes and theft of private information by online criminals. Many cyber-threats such as viruses, trojans, spyware could cause problems if left unchecked. It’s necessary ensure that antivirus programs are updated to deal with the newest cyber-threats.
Delete unnecessary temporary files and programs from the computer. These junk files waste hard disk space which also slows down performance. Also remove software programs that you no longer use.
PC physical cleaning keeps the machine free from dirt and dust. Over time tiny particles and dust collect on the machine which cause it to overheat and malfunction. When working on a PC it’s best to keep food and liquids away from it.
Ensure the machine’s programs and software are updated. There are numerous software that can do this automatically. The main thing to remember is that computers need care and attention to work properly. These are some basic but important tips regarding computer repair and maintenance that users ought to keep in mind.
If you are unsure about how to do any of these tasks yourself, don’t risk damaging your computer system. Consult a professional computer technician. Contact Perry Hall PC Repair for certified computer technicians to fix any computer problem.
If you don’t have antivirus software installed, then you need to get on this right away. I would highly recommend Vipre Anti-Virus If you are looking for a good antivirus. The second part of this is that you need to keep this software up to date and you need to run scans regularly. Most good antivirus software packages will automatically update themselves. However, it is a good idea to check that this is happening. When it comes to scanning, it is a good idea to scan every week or so. By keeping your virus protection software up to date and by scanning often, you can make sure you catch any threats before they can wreak havoc on your PC.
Be Careful When Opening and Clicking Links Within Emails
Opening a bad attachment or directly clicking on a virus in an email are two really common ways to get a virus. There are quite a few ways to avoid this. First, be really careful opening emails that have attachments from people you don’t know. Second, if you open an email, you don’t recognize the sender, and the email itself really doesn’t make sense, then don’t click on any of the links in the email. In this case, it is best to just delete the email and move on. Last, if you are not with a solid email provider like G Mail, Yahoo Mail, etc, then you may want to think about switching. These services do a great job of filtering out any viruses before they even get to your inbox.
Be Careful When Browsing the Internet
Another really common place to get a virus is from a bad website. We have all been there, we have clicked on a link or a result in Google search and we end up at a website that just doesn’t look trustworthy. This site is trying to get you to download stuff, has tons of popups, and won’t even let you go back. In most cases, you are still OK. However, what you do next may determine if you get a virus or not. First, see if you can go back or even see if you can close out the browser window. If it doesn’t let you, you can try to close any popups or notifications using the “X” or the cancel button. If you still can’t get away from the bad site, you can use the task manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL to manually close your browser task. The big key is that whatever you do, don’t allow your browser to download anything. Most browsers today will ask if you are sure that you want to continue with a download. This is where you make your last stand against the virus.
To go along with this, it is best to just avoid certain types of sites. First of all, avoid public torrents and public torrent sites. These are well-known virus farms. You may also want to be careful around any type of adult sites or any low quality streaming sites. I am not talking about YouTube here. I am talking about sites that stream a specific TV show or channel illegally. These types of sites might have malware as well.
One last thing to look out for when browsing is fake “download”, “play now”, “play”, etc buttons. Be really careful around these. Keep an eye out for these on sites that you particularly don’t trust. Also, while on the topic, don’t fall for the “Your computer is infected” ads or popups as well. These are usually a trick to get you to download a virus. If you see one of these and you are unsure, close it, then open up your virus protection software and run a scan. This will tell you if you are truly infected or not.
Be Careful When Downloading Programs or Files
There are many times when you really just need to download a program or file from the Internet. If you do this correctly, then there is no issue. However, the key here is that when you download something, make sure it is from a trusted source. Downloading software directly from the software manufacturers website is one good tip. For example, if you need to download iTunes, download it from Apple itself, not some third party distributor. The only time you should download from a third party site is when the site itself links to the third party site for the download.
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By following the tips and advice above, hopefully you will never get a virus again.
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