Thursday, March 23, 2017

Data Security On The Cloud

As we attempt to speed up transactions – whether in the government or in private companies – the processes of all offices and agencies are centralized and thus computerized. Like any form of technology, centralizing data and files has its pros and cons. It means that people in the same agency can access or modify the same file with just a few clicks regardless of location.

But as the number of computer users increases, the demand for servers to accommodate data storage and security also rises. It is why cloud computing came into existence – to defy the usual physical limitations we face when it comes to communication and computing. With data on the cloud, we free our computer’s hard drives from the burden of storing such a large number of files yet still allow us to access it whenever the need arises. Indeed, cloud computing will remain to be a permanent fixture in the computing world.

Most people have an idea of what “cloud computing” is. In a nutshell, it refers to accessing documents, information and applications online rather than storing things on hard drives. Dropbox, Apple’s iCloud, and are all examples.

Although countless businesses worldwide have been accessing their data on the cloud for several years, some are still hesitant. A few reasons for resisting the move to cloud computing include:

  • Downtime. “What if my documents become unavailable right when I’m about to make an important pitch to a client?”

  • Security. “Do I know for sure that my important data won’t get hacked?”

  • Costs. “We have enough business costs. Can we really afford one more monthly service fee?”


So yes, there are data issues in using the cloud. And considering that the cloud supports the function of numerous big companies on the web, issues involving data security should be a reason for concern to all of us.

If you're a small business owner, you've heard a lot about cloud computing in the last few years. You may even be thinking about taking your enterprise into the cloud right now.

Cloud computing, the process of storing data and running software applications offsite on remote servers, has taken off because it provides a high level of productivity and convenience.

Is Cloud Computing Safe?

The assumption that by putting your data in the cloud you're essentially "hanging it out to the wind" is a false one. In fact, in most cases, storing your data in the cloud is safer than storing it on local servers or in hard copy. Hard copies and local servers can be stolen during break-ins and local servers may be targeted by hackers just as cloud servers are. In fact, data stored in the cloud is less likely to be hacked than that stored locally because the security protocols used by reputable cloud providers are so good now. The very survival of a cloud platform as a business hinges on its ability to keep data safe. Take the case of Amazon Web Service (AWS), the world's largest cloud provider. AWS uses hundreds of security controls to keep client data safe, including data encryption. The platform serves over a million customers, including Amazon's giant retail operation.

Smaller providers also have robust security measures in place and the reputable ones have great track records in cloud security. Check out their reputations by doing internet research (look at each company's client base and testimonials, if available), reading trade journals or by talking to tech experts.

The question now is this, how can you secure your data once it is on the cloud?

  • Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication systems are your first line of defense when it comes to security.

  • Train your staff to beware of phishing attacks emails or other communications which trick users into revealing security information like passwords. 

  • Many cloud platforms include login and activity monitoring tools as part of their security measures. 

  • In addition to phishing tactics, hackers also use malware (such as Trojans) to gain access to mobile devices and computers.

  • Finally, you should strongly consider encrypting your data on the cloud.


There is no assurance that data is 100% secured on the cloud because threats are just around the corner. We all know that by now. It’s the reason why you should take measures yourself in protecting your data, whether it is on the cloud or on your computer hard drive. Data loss is possible whether through hard drive failure or a malware or virus that managed to get into your system without you knowing.

The following article Data Security On The Cloud was originally published on


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Android Data Recovery – What’s Your Best Move?

Ask someone which one piece of tech they use on a regular basis and you will probably be told that it’s their smartphone. The smartphone has replaced so many extra pieces of technology by wrapping it all into one device that it pretty much is the only thing a lot of people need to get through their day. Calculator? Your phone has that. Music player? Video player? Books? Your smartphone has those things too. Even Nintendo is looking at launching their next series of games for the smartphone in order to recoup some lost revenue.

keep-android-data-safeOf course there’s a downfall to having everything on your phone. What if you lose it? There goes all your information. What if you drop it and crack the screen so badly it doesn’t respond to your touch? Before you get consumed by a panic attack you should know that it’ll be okay. You can recover the data, the emails, the photos from your phone if you have the proper software. In the essence of prevention, you should probably look at getting some of this software before your phone ends up unusable.

One of the best recovery apps that you can download for Android is the, wait for it, Android Data Recovery app. You can have this app on your Windows computer or your Mac and it’ll help scan your phone for lost data that you can recover:

To recover deleted files on Android, first your need to download and install the Android Data recovery. You can download the file as per your system. It supports Windows and Mac based devices.
For Windows users:
For Mac users:
Once you download the Android Data recovery, install the software and launch it. After that connect your Android smartphone and wait for the software to detect the device. Make sure you have enabled USB debugging.
This Android File Recovery can easily scan your Android phones and SD cards to find the deleted text messages, photos, videos, contacts, call logs, Whatsapp messages and other document files from Android phones. You can use it to get back the deleted files from Android easily. So next time you lose or accidentally deleted files from Android phone, download and try this data recovery for Android to help you restore deleted files from Android.


The article itself will give you simple step-by-step instructions complete with screenshots so you can make sure you’re doing what you think you’re supposed to be doing. Of course, if you have an Android based Chromebook, you may want to see this service:

Hopefully this has highlighted the importance of backing up your information and no deleting files willy-nilly. As you come to rely on your phone for everything you want to make sure that the information is protected and that you don’t have to stress about deleting some photos or files to make room for that new Super Mario game that you really wanted to play.

Even if you decide that you don’t want to go with this particular app, doing a quick search in the Play Store will reveal several different options, often for free. Make sure you read the reviews and select the app that is going to work the best for you and your data.
Don’t leave yourself in a precarious position where the ‘droid has eaten all your precious data. Recovery is simple and backing up your files is even simpler.

Android Data Recovery – What’s Your Best Move? Read more on:


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What Everybody Should Know About Recycling Hard Drives

Technology doesn’t last long these days because there is always someone out there looking to improve a process that was just developed six weeks ago. Because of this many people are finding that they need to replace their computers more frequently; sometimes even months after purchasing them.

refurbished-hard-driveWith replacements come new costs and that’s not something everyone can afford. If you’re trying to start up a business venture or you’re trying to improve on an existing system you’ll probably have a budget that you need to stay within. In that respect more and more people are looking towards recycled and refurbished hardware to help ease the stress on their wallets. Is this safe? Not always:

Owing to a decrease in the sale of PCs and laptops, consumers and businesses in need of additional storage are buying up more recycled hard drives – and the amount of digital information stored on these devices is staggering, according to a new study.

"The Leftovers: A Data Recovery Study," from Blancco Technology Group, an Alpharetta, Ga.-based firm that provides data destruction, warns of the dangers of recycled hard drives. The study details how personally identifiable information (PII) – including Social Security numbers, government documents, financial data and photos – are among the traces left behind should the original owner fail to properly delete their digital details.
To conduct the study, a Blancco digital forensic team obtained 200 hard drives from online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist. They were able to recover residual data from more than 78 percent of the drives.
Enterprise emails were recovered on nine percent of the drives, followed by spreadsheets containing sensitive company information, including sales projections and product inventories in five percent of the cases.
As well, 67 percent of the used drives contained PII. The team recovered photos (43 percent) and photos with GPS data (24 percent), as well as financial data (21 percent), Social Security numbers (23 percent) and résumés (10 percent).


The important thing to note here is that the recycled or refurbished hard drives are not a bad thing; it’s just that many people aren’t disposing of their information properly before they resign their hardware to be recycled. It is crucial that you wipe your hard drives before getting rid of them. Even if you happen to not be able to recover from a crashed hard drive, you should still at least attempt to wipe the drive. It can help, believe me!

Sure, you might think that you’re doing the environment a favor and maybe you’re getting paid for your old hardware, but your personal information is just that: personal. You shouldn’t be sharing it with anyone. Things like your Social Security Number can lead to your identity being stolen if it lands in the wrong hands.

This would be a good time to take inventory of what you have on your computer and figure out if that information really needs to be on there. Maybe you have something in an old file that you used three years ago before forgetting about it. Don’t forget to wipe that out!
Just like you wouldn’t give dirty clothes or soiled shoes in a donation you should think about cleaning up your hardware before you get rid of it.

It’s not just your browser history you need to worry about people finding out anymore.

The blog post What Everybody Should Know About Recycling Hard Drives See more on: Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Resurrecting the Dead: Hard Drive Fixes

What’s that saying? All good things must come to an end. This is true of all things in life: friendships, employment, romantic relationships and even television shows like Lost. The question then becomes: is death truly the end? For most things, yes, once Death has hard-drive-deathyou in it’s icy grip there is no coming back. Pets, people, relationships; once these die there is no bringing them back. There are other things, however, where death is not the end. A broken cup can be glued and a broken hard drive can also be fixed.

There are different types of issues for hard drive failures; physical and logistical. A physical break for a hard drive can generally be fixed by replacing the broken part. A logistical break can also be fixed by replacing the broken software. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs of a pending issue with your hard drive. Once you know the possible issues, you can school yourself on the ways to fix it.
So what are your options? It depends on what the issue is:

Data Recovery

Too commonly people lose a hard drive that had data on it that was not backed up. These are the people who are then scrambling for ways to recover the data from a crashed hard drive. In some cases, this can be done. You should know up front, though, that it is going to cost you some money. Perhaps a lot of money. As of now, a quick Google search shows typical price ranges between $300 and $400. It isn’t cheap and you need to weigh out the cost of the service versus the cost of losing the data.

The art of data recovery depends solely on the nature of the drive failure. For example, if the electronics of the drive died but the mechanics are OK, then replacing the electronic board can revive the drive. Also, if the read/write head died but the platters still spin and are intact, then the data is still there. A new read/write head is needed to get the data.

The first thing would be to have your drive evaluated by a data recovery service. Since data recovery is very custom to the nature of the failure, prices vary.

Software Options
And since I know people will ask, no, there is no software utility out there that can recover data from a crashed hard drive. If the drive is not really crashed, then perhaps a disk utility can help you recover something. But, a true crash is a problem with the drive itself, and no software can overcome that one.
The data recovery software one finds when searching for it is designed to recover from accidental deletes or corrupted file structure. If these thing happen, there is a chance you can recover it on your own. Once the drive actually dies, though, your only option is to use a data recovery service.


It’s not impossible to resurrect your information and your hard drive in the sad event of a death. While there may be times when you have to use the services of a data recovery company, it’s better to trust professionals if you aren’t comfortable troubleshooting the issue yourself. You don’t want to make the problem worse and risk losing everything completely.

Prevention is the best medicine so try to make sure that you’re backing up your data often so that in the event of a failure you only have a mini-heart attack instead of a full-on stroke. Don’t leave yourself needing a necromancer to revive your data so you get full marks for that essay that you’ve been putting off.

The following blog article Resurrecting the Dead: Hard Drive Fixes is courtesy of Hard Drive Recovery Associates


Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Searching For The Click Of Death

All you want to do is boot up your computer to play a little Civilization 4. Maybe you want to get started on that essay that’s been staring you in the face for the last three hours. You might be at work, coming in to the office for the morning and want to get started on the pile of paperwork that’s greeting you from your in-tray.

htscnIf you aren’t a tech person every single sound your hardware makes could be nerve-shattering. What’s that whine? What’s the click? If you don’t know what’s normal, you won’t know what’s abnormal. Everything is going to make some sort of sound, but there are ways to differentiate between regular noise and data-crushing death:

Today's hard drives are very quiet and usually the system fan noise covers the drive. When the system ventilation fans get dirty or out of balance they can begin to make noise. Sometimes the hard drive is suspected of making these new noises.

Older hard drives will make noise during normal use. The level and type of noise may change depending on the function the drive is performing. Users must be able to distinguish normal noises from detrimental, abnormal noises.

Normal sounds include:
1. Whining noise during drive spin-up.
2. Regular clicking or tapping sounds during drive access.
3. Hard clicks when the drive heads park during power saving modes like Standby or Hibernation.
Abnormal noises include:
1. High-pitched whining sound can be an indication of abnormal function.
2. Noises can be caused by mounting issues. This is due to either a high frequency vibration in the mounting hardware, or a potential drive failure.
3. Repeated, regular tapping, grinding or beeping.
4. External (especially USB-only) drive clicking or beeping at time of connection, often accompanied by non-detection problems.
Troubleshooting noise issues for external drives:
External USB drive clicking and beeping can occur if the USB port does not provide enough power to operate the drive, often a USB 1.x port, or an unpowered USB hub.
To resolve this noise, connect the drive with both of the USB connectors (if possible), or if your drive only has one connector, try connecting it to other USB ports on your computer. If that does not work, connect it to a powered USB hub to ensure enough electrical power.

Hopefully you’re a bit more familiar with what are normal sounds for a computer. The click of death is as ominous as it sounds and you don’t want to find yourself in that position. Often sounds like this point to a physical issue with the hard drive itself. This means that you’ll need to replace certain parts of the hard drive or the entire physical drive. If that’s the case, you better hope you’ve been backing up your information to an external drive or a service like DropBox or OneDrive. This way when the technical team comes in to repair your device you can still carry on with your work.

Don’t let yourself get freaked out over every little sound. Educate yourself on the sounds that are going to cause you issues. The more you know the better, and quicker, you can respond to these issues and protect your data from the click of death.

Searching For The Click Of Death is available on Hard Drive Recovery Associates

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Disaster Recovery And Recovering Fire Damaged Hard Drives

fire-damageEven if you don’t live in Canada you’ve probably heard about the wildfire that almost obliterated the booming oil town of Fort McMurray in Alberta, Canada. While authorities are still looking into the cause of the fire that destroyed 20% of the city it cannot be denied that this fire was a horrific disaster that pushed almost 100,000 people from their homes with little to no notice.

Imagine: you’re coming home from work for your lunch break when suddenly you’re told to grab anything and everything you can and get the hell out of Dodge. Needless to say computers and hard drives were the last thing on people’s minds. It’s important to have a recovery plan and while you may not be an organization, these tips are still relevant:

When you developed your data center disaster recovery (DR) plan, you designed it to protect your organization’s investment in information technology, communications and its staff. Depending on the nature of the disruption, your data center’s overall integrity may be untouched or it could be totally destroyed.

DR plans need to be flexible and scalable to address a broad range of disruption scenarios. In this article, we’ll provide data center checklists with recommended actions you can take in the aftermath of disaster. These checklists will make recovering from a disaster easier. Make sure you have the data center checklist—or a modified version using your own requirements—as you review the effects of a disruptive incident to your data center. Once you have completed an initial assessment of the situation and you are satisfied with the location of your staff, begin executing the DR plan.

Data center disaster recovery planning assumptions

A data center disaster recovery plan focuses exclusively on a data center facility and its infrastructure, such as its physical location, construction, security, power sources, environmental systems and its people. Be sure you’ve factored in the operational aspects of your data center as well as the people supporting it. This means addressing the following as you build your DR plan:

  • Data center technical and management staff, all shifts
  • Data center building (e.g., physical infrastructure, construction, location of entrances and exits, raised floor areas)
  • Building location (e.g., access routes, proximity to highways, rail lines and airports; proximity to fuel storage tanks)
  • Power generation (e.g., commercial power, backup power systems)
  • Power protection (grounding and bonding, lightning arrestors, line conditioners, surge suppressors)
  • Environment (e.g., heating, ventilation and air conditioning)


Many people lost their homes and everything that was inside. While the hard drives may have survived the fire and rescue efforts, the pictures and documents that are potentially housed on those drives would not have survived in their physical form.

It is always important to back up your data. Back up your digital copies of those irreplaceable memories. Should you ever find yourself in such a terrible situation there can be hope of recovery if you back up your files.

While there were no casualties as a result of the fire, which is amazing, plenty of people have lost things that make up their lives. Those who are affected should check with their insurance companies to see if data recovery is a cost that can be absorbed.

The horrific beauty of nature doesn’t discriminate and can come unannounced. Try to be as proactive as you can by having a plan in place and back up that data now, while you can.

Disaster Recovery And Recovering Fire Damaged Hard Drives is courtesy of HDRA Blog

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Do Your Data Recovery For Mac: A Nice Tool

do-your-data-recoveryWe all know Mac users have been a little ‘special’ over the years. Apple keeps putting out cutting edge devices and improving on what they did five seconds ago with a cooler, sleeker model. The issue many Mac users are finding themselves in, however, is the fact that Windows is still the system that most companies make programs and apps for. While Apple is growing in popularity with the everyman, for many years it was seen as specialty equipment and had price tags far out of the reach of an average person.

Times have changed and companies are starting to see that they can reach a broader audience if they make their programs available for Mac users as well:

DoYourData Software, the famous data recovery software developer, releases Do Your Data Recovery for Mac 4.1 to empower Mac users to completely recover lost data under the latest Mac OS version – macOS Sierra. With the complete macOS Sierra data recovery solution, Mac users can easily get lost files back within simple steps.

Improved Data Recovery Software for macOS Sierra

DoYourData improves the Mac data recovery software as soon as Apple releases the macOS Sierra Beta. Now Do Your Data Recovery 4.1 is fully capable of recovering lost data under Mac macOS Sierra. It is not only compatible with macOS Sierra, but also compatible with OS X versions including OS X 10.6, 10.7, 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11.

"We know that many users will upgrade to macOS Sierra, so we improve Do Your Data Recovery, and make it be fully compatible with the latest OS X version." Bran, the Sales Manager, says "When Mac users upgrade to macOS Sierra, they can directly download, install and run Do Your Data Recovery to get their lost files back."

Do Your Data Recovery 4.1 is very powerful and very easy to use. It can recover lost data from Mac hard drive or storage media due to deletion, format, virus attacking, upgrade failure, etc. Compared with other Mac data recovery software, Do Your Data Recovery 4.1 is easier to use. The wizard-based interface makes data recovery become easy. It is complete DIY tool, anyone can use it.


There’s nothing worse than having data deleted from your hard drive when it wasn’t meant to. Lightning just doesn’t listen and will strike anywhere and everywhere, eventually frying your outlets because you forgot to buy the surge protected power bar. With Do Your Data Recover anyone can easily retrieve data that has been spirited away from them, no matter the reason.

Now you don’t have to be so nervous every time Mac pokes you with a system upgrade notification. Click that upgrade button with pride knowing that your files can be easily retrieved in the event that something goes horribly wrong.

Because life tends to act like all the bad parts of a movie right when we don’t want them to!

The following blog article Do Your Data Recovery For Mac: A Nice Tool was originally seen on Hard Drive Recovery Associates