Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Is it time to drop Dropbox?

May 2, 2014

ImageCondoleezza Rice’s appointment to the board of directors at Dropbox has sparked debate and fury amongst many of its users, with the most enraged pushing for a total boycott (http://www.drop-dropbox.com/).

The former US secretary of state is infamous for publicly backing the NSA’s snooping activities, which understandably does not sit well with users looking for a safe place to store their data.

From a business perspective, sure, she’s a solid candidate for the job. She’s a highly-regarded intellectual with reams of experience in the tech industry, and her long list of influential contacts will probably open a lot of doors for the company. But users don’t care about any of that.

As users, we want secure cloud storage, with a provider that we feel comfortable with – which is exactly what Dropbox has always professed to be. In response to the angry backlash they have faced over the last few weeks, CEO Drew Houston commented:

“There’s nothing more important to us than keeping your stuff safe and secure. It’s why we’ve been fighting for transparency and government surveillance reform, and why we’ve been vocal and public with our principles and values.

We should have been clearer that none of this is going to change with Dr. Rice’s appointment to our Board. Our commitment to your rights and your privacy is at the heart of every decision we make, and this will continue.”

They’ve stuck to their guns, but whether or not this statement will be enough to appease or reassure Dropbox users is yet to be seen. Unfortunately, with services like Dropbox, we only tend to find out about any snooping once a data leak makes it into the press and the damage is already done.

There aren’t many ways around it, either. Aside from paying for expensive, private cloud storage that ensures encryption of data, you don’t have much choice but to leave security in the hands of your cloud storage provider. We can’t stress how important it is to read the privacy policy for services like Dropbox to know exactly where you stand in terms of data protection. Any service provider that handles your data should be totally transparent about how it is stored and who has access to it. Our privacy policy is readily available on the BuddyBackup website, and includes details on the methods of encryption we use when transferring your data from one buddy to another as well as what access we have to it (none).

A final piece of advice would be to store any sensitive information locally rather than in the cloud, and use a service like BuddyBackup to securely back it up to a trusted friend, relative or a second PC. That way you know exactly where your data is, and who has access to it, at all times.

Author: Cassie Holmes, BuddyBackup

BuddyBackup compatible with Windows 8

October 2, 2012

Windows 8 is going to available to the public from 26 October and it’s a whole new ball game to its predecessor Windows 7. 

We’ve actually got a few bets at the BuddyBackup offices about how long it’s going to take before Microsoft cracks and releases a simpler, more familiar interface that’s closer to Windows 7.  Even our beta testers have said what a big adjustment it is – and when companies and the less tech savvy get their hands on it – some people are really going to struggle.

In the meantime, our developers have been working hard to make sure that BuddyBackup is compatible. So if you decide to download the new operating system, you simply need to reinstall BuddyBackup software and your backups will be taken care of as usual.

So what can you expect from Windows 8?

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, says it’s possibly the most important product launch in the company’s history: “Windows 95 was certainly the biggest thing in the last 20 years until now. I think Windows 8 certainly surpasses it,” he says.

Windows 8 is a major redesign of the Microsoft operating system, not just a gentle upgrade and, in fact, it breaks down the normal conventions of using a pc.

The first difference you’ll notice is the faster boot time which, if you’re used to tablets, will come as a relief.

Gone is the start button, which has been replaced with a tile-based user interface.  Windows 8 is the first Microsoft operating system compatible with tablets and even the pc interface is touch orientated. As a result, you’ll probably want to invest in a touch screen for your pc.

The whole look is much sleeker, although the lack of a start button makes it harder to find certain functions. However, Windows Explorer has been replaced with File Explorer which has greater functionality.

A great new feature is snap multi-tasking, which allows you to split the screen and look at two different applications at once. It means you can work on your presentation with an eye on your emails or word document at the same time.

The new family security tools are a much needed improvement. They can restrict and filter web pages, allow you to set time limits and prevent access to certain applications.

If you’re using Windows 8 at work, the Windows to Go function for enterprise allows you to make a virtual copy of your pc onto a USB drive which you can plug into any other Windows 8 pc and use it as if it were your own. It’s a way of putting your office pc in your pocket and taking it home with you.

If you’re testing the beta version of Windows 8, BuddyBackup is ready now if you want to give it a try ahead of the October 26 launch date.

Read more about Windows 7 versus Windows 8.

Get a Buddy before your data’s left out in the cold

August 29, 2012

People will go to amazing lengths to claw back data from damaged or faulty hard drives.

Shaking it, banging it or praying for it won’t work but one technique that just might is to put the hard drive in the freezer!

Amazingly, anecdotal evidence suggests that this can indeed revive your hard drive for a valuable few minutes – whether it’s long enough to retrieve vital data can depend. But by putting it in the freezer for 24 hours, people have been able to revive their hard drives for up to 30 minutes.

However, BEWARE as freezing your hard drive could mean that it becomes impossible for a professional recovery service to retrieve data from the damaged drive. Putting your hard drive in the ice box should be an absolute last resort and will mean that once it’s defrosted and packs in again, it will be good for nothing.

Of course, these desperate measures are no substitute for backing up your family photos, dissertation, or videos in the first place.

Having a proper backup solution shouldn’t just be an option – it should be mandatory! Backing up needn’t even be expensive – BuddyBackup gives your files offsite, online, continuous protection for free.

Whoever thought up the idea to freeze their hard drive first is anyone’s guess – if only they’d put as much thought into backing up their PC beforehand.

Top Data Loss Disasters

June 21, 2012

Data disasters can happen in the funniest of ways, although losing precious photos, emails and videos from your PC or other device is no laughing matter. Kroll Ontrack are experts in retrieving data and every year they compile a list of top their strangest data loss disasters. We’ve gone back over the last few years to bring you the best and most bizarre cases:

  1. Out with a bang! – A traveller was enjoying an espresso in an airport terminal while waiting for a plane home. He put his laptop case on the floor at the coffee bar but forgot take it with him. The unattended luggage caused a security alert and the laptop was detonated!
  2. Laptop litter box – A woman left her laptop charging on the floor of her house for a few hours. She returned to discover a liquid on the keyboard and a sheepish kitten playing in the corner. It turned out the cat had peed on it.
  3. Buckle up – A woman running late for work placed her briefcase on her car roof while she put her child in his car seat. Anxious to get on the road, she buckled up and quickly backed out of her garage, sending her briefcase, with laptop inside, soaring off the roof just in time for the front wheels to crush it.
  4. Smoking kills – A newly hired security guard was doing his first evening security check in a chemical ingredients warehouse. He’d been told he wasn’t allowed to smoke but tried to sneak in a crafty cigarette after hours. After he sparked up, the fire alarm sounded and set off the anti-fire sprinkler system. All the electronic equipment, including 44 desktops and two servers, were flooded.
  5. In the safe not on the safe – Rushing to get to a business meeting on time, an IT worker decided to put a tape drive on top of a disaster-proof safe instead of inside it. But less than an hour later, the city was struck by a powerful earthquake which left the building – and the tape – engulfed by mud, water and sand.
  6. Be careful what you capture – A freelance photographer found himself caught up in the midst of the London riots last year. Naturally, he grabbed his camera to get shots of the action. But when the rioters saw they were being snapped, they smashed it to try and destroy any incriminating evidence.
  7. Gone fishing – A lawyer was invited by her father on a fishing holiday but thought she could sneak her laptop on board and fit in a bit of work at the same time. Furious that she had brought her computer onto the fishing boat, her dad’s friend threw it overboard. She jumped straight in the water, fully-clothed, and fished it out. In the end much of the data was recovered.
  8. Law trouble – As authorities entered the home of a suspected criminal, he threw his laptop containing potentially incriminating evidence out the window of a 12-story building. The laptop smashed into hundreds of pieces on the pavement. Unfortunately for him the police were able to recover the data.
  9. Safe in the oven – A man hid his laptop in his kitchen oven, thinking it was an ideal hiding place from burglars while he was away on holiday. Unfortunately his wife came home before he did and turned on the oven to do some cooking…
  10. Quest for a quiet life – A British scientist was fed up with his hard drive squeaking, so he drilled a hole through the casing and poured oil into the mechanics. The squeaking stopped, and so did the hard drive.
  11. Hardware Problems – A frustrated writer attacked her computer with a hammer. When the engineers received the computer, the hammer imprint was clearly visible on the top cover.
  12. Baby teeth – Kroll Ontrack received an SD card from a camera with lots of teeth marks on it. The customer indicated a “wild animal” had got hold of it and chewed it. The wild animal he was referring to was his two-year-old son.
  13. Swept away – Watch out when you’re cleaning your house – a Kroll customer’s flash drive was sucked up by a vacuum cleaner. It was so powerful the tracks from the drive were pulled from the circuit board and the connector was torn loose.
  14. Ant invasion – Discovering ants had taken up residence in his external hard drive, a photographer in Thailand took the cover off and sprayed the interior with insect repellent.
  15. Laptops are not waterproof – Desperate for a swim, but reluctant to leave his laptop unattended on a beach, a man put it into a plastic bag and went for a dip – laptop and all. The laptop got soaked and he lost his data.

Kroll Ontrack

BuddyBackup Reviews

May 29, 2012

We’ve recently been featured and reviewed on a number of software sites and they’ve all had some great things to say about BuddyBackup.
Softoxi made a video demo showing the software in use and has called it “reliable” and “intuitive”

We have a 5 out of 5 star rating from users of Softpedia who also check the software to make sure it is clean and free of any malware. Softpedia themselves described setting up the software as “really easy”.

I Love Free Software said BuddyBackup ran “silently…without affecting performance” and called it a “cool application”

BuddyBackup has also been awarded and recognized by WebHostingSearch.com as one of the Best Web Tools for Data Backup category.BuddyBackup Best Web Tool Award

 

Thanks for all the positive feedback and glad that you like BuddyBackup!

The Business-end of the Year – Don’t lose your Dissertation!

April 23, 2012

Easter is over and if you’re at School, College or University, now is the time it all gets a bit serious.

Whether you’re working on an essay, a multimedia production or an enormous final year project like a dissertation, there is nothing worse than losing your data and having to start again from scratch.

Take a dissertation for instance:  they weigh-in at 10 – 20,000 words plus referencing and primary research.  How many hours does that take in total?  100? 1000?  Even if you can remember roughly what you wrote, do you have the time to go back to the library, find all of your quotes again or go back and repeat your survey?

Just the thought of losing all that work is enough to make you queasy!

We’ve all heard the horror-stories about that ‘friend-of-a-friend’ who had their laptop bag stolen –  with the backup inside.  Make sure you have a backup far enough away from your original.  Make sure you have one thing less to worry about.  With BuddyBackup you can run one backup to a USB drive so you have a backup nearby in case your computer crashes, and another to a friend far away.

Even if your laptop bursts into flame the day before the deadline, you can get your data back and make sure you hand in on-time.

To all of you out there slogging away, remember… save frequently, make sure you back-up, and good luck!

5,500,000 computers stolen in the USA over the last 3 years!

November 28, 2011

A study of computer theft in the USA has revealed that 5.5 million computers were stolen over the last 3 years, comparable with statisticaly proportional figures worldwide. Over two-thirds were laptops and 77% of thefts occurred while the respondent was mobile.

Forty-four percent of all respondents report they only back-up data weekly, monthly, rarely or never, which means that millions of people lost data permanently.

Read more here:

http://www.mactech.com/2010/08/03/key-findings-8th-annual-2010-bsi-computer-theft-survey

Americans would rather give up alcohol than lose all the data on their computer…

November 2, 2011

http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/data-loss-sacrifices-1951/

Don’t be tricked by the Halloween spammers and their phony treats!

October 31, 2011

http://www.securitynewsdaily.com/halloween-spam-malware-1289/

October 21, 2011

Check out our BuddyBackup ad on screens at London Train Stations! http://ping.fm/VlmAi