Friday, March 27, 2020

Being on the Safe Side of Being Online

Oh, the world wide web, how fascinating our lives have been with it! It has opened is to a whole new dimension of information we have no access to before. But then, just like any other place that’s worth exploring, there may be dangers that lurk on the sides that if you fall victim to, will damage your entire experience. So, you need to be aware of these hazards and keep yourself safe when surfing online. What’s great is that you don’t really need to be a computer science genius to know how to amply protect yourself when exploring the internet. Minimize your risk by taking note of these tips to enjoy a safer web experience.

The Importance of Upgrading

Let’s admit it: Most, if not all of us, get annoyed when programs in our computer get upgraded without our permission. These silent upgrades are not done for no reason, though, as they play a key role in keeping everyone safe. Moreover, browsers and OSes have made it point to roll out their updates in a seamless fashion, making it a point to not bother users. It would be best to apply these updates on all applications and programs, not just on your browser or frequently used programs. Don’t allow old versions of programs to be left in your machine, as they are susceptible to attacks, not to mention that they may soon (or may have already) be without support.

Silent upgrades might occasionally be annoying (and costly), but they’re a big part of keeping you safe, which is why the updates for most OSes and browsers now happen seamlessly. Apply updates whenever you’re asked to on all your applications, not just your browser, and be wary of leaving older hardware gathering dust on your network.

Viruses and malware are constantly evolving to exploit vulnerabilities in your software and hardware. Software developers try to fix these flaws as soon as they are discovered. What many people don’t realise is that infections occur because people delay software updates that fix these flaws. In short, they could have protected themselves by installing the updates to fix the security holes as soon as they came out.


That Required Two-Step Verification

Users are pretty much exposed to two-step verification, with most tech firms giving users the option to set it up on their accounts. What it is, basically, is that users can have an SMS or code to supplement their usernames and passwords every time they log in on a new device. Google and Microsoft highly encourage two-step verification, while for Mac users, they call it 2FA, or 2 Factor Authentication. There’s a slight difference in the process but the overall idea is the same.

Two-factor authentication (usually abbreviated 2FA) is a way to prove that you actually are the owner of a particular account by providing two “factors” of evidence. One factor is a piece of knowledge—your password or PIN, for instance. Another factor may be possession of a particular object—a phone that receives texts sent to a certain number, a USB key fob, or access to an email address. A another factor may be inheritance—something inherent to you, like your fingerprint or a retinal scan.


Is It Time for End-to-End Encryption?

End-to-end encryption is supposed to be a heaven-sent for users who want to be guaranteed privacy, as the encrypted messages they send can be read by only both receiver and sender, which means snoopers and hackers are excluded. URLs starting HTTPS and platforms that use fully encrypted messaging such as Signal and WhatsApp are enablers of end-to-end encryption. However, recent developments have revealed that it seems that government agencies have encouraged firms to abandon end-to-end encryption.

But though Apple at one time may have had plans to offer end-to-end encryption, according to a new report from Reuters the iPhone manufacturer abandoned plans to do so after receiving complaints from the FBI.


Lock Your Phone for Real

If your phone doesn’t have a lock screen, you are exposing yourself to a lot of danger, as cybercriminals can get to your web browser history and social media accounts, both of which contain your most personal information. You may opt to add a fingerprint, a PIN code, or a pattern, which makes sure that unwelcome visitors or snatchers of your phone are discouraged from stealing your information.

With a little work, your Galaxy, Pixel, or OnePlus phone can be a veritable fortress, virtually impenetrable to hacks, attacks, and bad apps. So whether you’re looking for a little extra security or a complete lockdown of your phone, here’s everything you need to keep your data from falling into the wrong hands.


Don’t Rely on Public Wi-Fi

When you access public Wi-Fi, take note that a lot of other users can, too. This means that you will have to be careful of what you are sharing, what websites you go to, as other people may see it. You may consider installing VPN software if you’re fond of connecting to public Wi-Fi. But then, even of institutions like EFF say that public Wi-Fi isn’t that dangerous anymore, you should take this with a grain of salt.

However, starting in 2010 that all changed. Eric Butler released Firesheep, an easy-to-use demonstration of “sniffing” insecure HTTP to take over people’s accounts. Site owners started to take note and realized they needed to implement HTTPS (the more secure, encrypted version of HTTP) for every page on their site. The timing was good: earlier that year, Google had turned on HTTPS by default for all Gmail users and reported that the costs to do so were quite low. Hardware and software had advanced to the point where encrypting web browsing was easy and cheap.


But then, no matter what safety precautions you can adapt to make your web experience safer and more private, incidences like hacking may still occur, causing data loss. But don’t worry – we have you covered. Click here to know how we can help you recover your files.

Being on the Safe Side of Being Online was first published on Hard Drive Recovery Associates


Monday, March 23, 2020

Free Your Phone by Unlocking It

Let's admit it: Not all of us can buy a phone outright. We would need to save and penny-pinch on some unnecessary expenses for months just to gather enough cash. By the time we have saved enough, it would be most likely that the phone we are eyeing to buy is already not the latest. Thus, it makes sense for most of us to rely on a monthly contract with a carrier to make the phone's cost more manageable, not to mention you can get the phone the moment you sign the contract. But then, once the contract period is over, you may already legally own the phone, but do you still want to carry on with your carrier? There may be plans with better value on other carriers, so you may want to use your phone when you make that switch.

Of course, the biggest hindrance to your plans is that more often than not, phones that are given through contracts are locked to the carrier. After all, phone locking is a way for carriers to maintain their hold on their customers and prevent them from using the phone they acquired with their contracts to other carriers. However, recent legislation has made it easier and legal for phone unlocking to be done. Finally, not just because it has become easier and legal does not mean that you can DIY yourself through the process.


Should you bother to unlock your T-Mobile phone? Yes, because they are GSM-based. This means that an unlocked T-Mobile phone can be used with other international carriers, including AT&T.

T-Mobile makes it pretty easy to unlock your phone, but there are just a couple things you need to do first.




An unlocked Sprint phone can be used as a prepaid phone and can also be used in mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) brands like Net10, Twigby, and Boost Mobile, among others.

For postpaid customers with SIM unlock-capable devices, Sprint has chosen to simply unlock active eligible SIM unlock-capable devices without requiring our customers to initiate an unlock request. Once you meet the requirements outlined in the Unlock Policy, Sprint will automatically unlock your active eligible SIM unlock-capable device.




AT&T is one of the world's largest wireless service providers with subscribers. With over 150 million in their fold, they are attracting more subscribers, but surely, there are also current AT&T who want to escape its clutches.

AT&T’s phones operate on a GSM-based network which means they can theoretically work with numerous other carriers. The catch, of course, being that the handsets need to be unlocked first.




A Verizon phone operates on a CDMA, which means even if unlocked there may not be a lot of options for you to use it with another carrier. This means your options are limited to international coverage, prepaid and MVNO brands. But there are still other options.

Also worth noting, you should still be able to use an unlocked Verizon LTE phone on AT&T or T-Mobile — or their MVNO brands. More and more we’re finding their handsets to be compatible with both carriers’ LTE bands.



Have an S10? Here's what you do

The Galaxy S10 is one of the more popular Android smartphones in the world. The good news is, if you got your S10 from Verizon and if you purchased an unlocked unit, then you don't have to go through the trouble of unlocking it to be used with other carriers.

In order to unlock your phone, you will need an unlock code, which you will need to enter into your Galaxy S10 after inserting the SIM card from your new carrier.



Unlocking your phone so you can have more options is one of the most liberating things you can experience in your tech life. The opposite is true with having errors in your hard drive.  Let our experts help you. Click here to see how we can ease your problems with your hard drive.

The following article Free Your Phone by Unlocking It was first published on HDRA Blog


Monday, March 16, 2020

Data Recovery Company Discusses The Various Types of Computer Programs

Hard Drive Recovery Associates (HDRA), a data recovery services firm based in Irvine, CA, recently released an article which talks about the different types of computer programs. HDRA talks about this further in their post, “Different Types of Programs For Your Computer”.

Computers, in the past, were used mainly for business operations such as accounting and programming.

These days, computers are very commonplace and are being used for a variety of different functions. As such, different types of computer programs have been developed to accommodate users’ growing interests. And there exist quite a few different types, including productivity software, web applications and gaming and leisure programs.

Speaking on behalf of HDRA, Jack Edwards says, “If you can think it, someone’s probably already done it. That’s the extent that computer programs have come in terms of variety. Yet more and more programs are being made each year. It’ll be hard to stunt innovation at the rate it’s happening at right now.”

Productivity Software

Productivity software encompasses a variety of different programs from word processors to spreadsheets. These are most commonly seen in work settings and are used to make work operations more convenient.

The article lists some examples of productivity software, which include word processors, spreadsheets, presentation software, media and formula editors.

Web Applications

Web applications are applications used exclusively through a web browser. As such, these applications require the use of an internet connection in order to be accessed.

Some examples of web applications listed in the article are email clients, FTP (File Transfer Protocol) clients and chat clients.

Other programs, such as weather widgets and stock market tickers, run using the internet as well. These programs have an online component which updates the information on your computer continuously.

Gaming And Leisure Programs

Programs exist for entertainment as well. One of the most popular types of programs used today are video game programs.

Other than video games, various leisure programs also exist for entertainment such as e-book readers and media players for movie watching or music playing.

Other Types Of Programs

There are a multitude of other programs that serve specific professions and niche markets. Some of these include file organizers, compression programs, security software (e.g. anti-virus, anti-malware, firewalls), music notation programs, statistical computation programs for data analysis, computer-aided drafting programs for architecture and engineering content management systems and programming interfaces.

“A modern computer can run hundreds of programs. Individuals as well as businesses usually depend on the convenience and productivity that these programs bring to the table,” said Edwards. “However, these are still just chunks of data which can be lost just as easily as they can be installed. That’s why it’s crucial for anyone with a computer to safeguard their data by taking the necessary precautions. In the worst-case scenario, however, data recovery services like HDRA exist specifically for this reason.”

HDRA encourages anyone with an issue with their business or personal hard drive to reach out to them directly even if others have already told them that their data is unrecoverable and cannot be transferred.

HDRA specializes in hard drive data recovery for RAID, Mac and PC hard disks as well as SSD drives, and can recover data from clicking or damaged hard drives.

On their toll-free support line (1-877-443-2821), which is online 24/7, they provide free recovery diagnosis. They also have a full set of blog articles on their regularly updated Wordpress website for those who feel the need to find out more about hard disc issues. Interested parties can also connect with them via their preferred social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Data Recovery Company Discusses Choosing How to Transfer Files

Hard Drive Recovery Associates (HDRA), a data recovery services company based in Irvine, California has released an article talking about the different ways computer files can be transferred and how a computer user can choose methods to use depending on their particular situation.

In the post, “How To Transfer Files Between Computers”, Hard Drive Recovery Associates discusses the details involved when transferring files using the following methods:

External Storage

Using external storage devices such as USB drives or external hard drives is the simplest way a user can transfer their files. However, using external storage can be quite slow especially when transferring a large quantity of files. File transfers can take hours upon hours depending on the size of the files being transferred. This is most evident in USB 2.0, which can only transfer files at a rate of 60MB/s. This problem is less noticeable since the introduction of USB 3.x, which can transfer files at rates of 625MB/s with USB 3.0, and up to 2500MB/s with USB 3.2.

Local Area Network (LAN)

When computers are connected to the same network, an ideal way of transferring files is through the LAN. Being connected on the same network allows computers to easily access each other’s hard drives. To prevent abuse, this access can easily be granted or revoked using the Windows 10 File Explorer user interface. This provides businesses with a more seamless way of managing its files.

Cloud Storage

Much like transferring files over a local network, cloud storage also makes for a more convenient experience for managing files since it’s done digitally. This can be done over various cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, or OneDrive - each of which allow for a seamless file transferring experience. These services are usually available for free up until a certain storage limit. After reaching their limit, the user can choose to pay for more storage. This is convenient for businesses who operate while handling large amounts of data.

Windows Easy Transfer

In the past, as the article states, Windows had a free utility called Easy Transfer which allowed people to easily transfer files from an old system to a new one. In addition to files, the utility also transferred things like system settings and programs. However, this was discontinued upon the arrival of Windows 10. Windows 10 now recommends its users to use the OneDrive cloud or an external storage device when moving their files to a new computer.

Speaking on behalf of HDRA, Jack Edwards says, “Cloud storage can be super convenient since it allows you to access your files from anywhere with an internet connection. However, since cloud storage services are provided by a third-party, security and privacy are frequent concerns.”

“Admittedly, security and privacy may not be too big a concern for the average Joe,” said Edwards. “But for organizations with sensitive data, security and privacy mean everything. On the other hand, external storage devices can provide this security and privacy. But, because of their physical nature, the risk of them breaking is always present. Data loss, I’ve learned, can be worse than a data leak. This is precisely why seeking the aid of data recovery services such as HDRA is crucial. We can recover 100% of your data and save you thousands of dollars in damages.”

HDRA encourages anyone with a problem with their business or personal hard drive to contact them directly even if others have already told them that their data is unrecoverable. HDRA specializes in hard drive data recovery for RAID, Mac and PC hard disks as well as SSD drives, and can recover data from damaged or clicking hard drives.

The company provides free recovery diagnosis on their toll-free support line (1-877-443-2821) which is online 24/7. They also have a full set of blog articles on their regularly updated Wordpress website for those who feel the need to find out more about hard disc issues.

Friday, February 28, 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Associates Discusses Computer Cleaning In Recent Blog Post

Data recovery services company Hard Drive Recovery Associates (HDRA), based in Irvine, California, recently published an article which talks extensively on the subject of computer cleaning.

Much like cleaning a computer of unnecessary files and uninstalling unused programs, cleaning hardware is just as important to ensuring that a system unit functions the way it’s supposed to. In the post, “Tips On Cleaning Your Computer”, Hard Drive Recovery Associates discusses ways that you can clean your computer to maximize its functionality and prevent unnecessary damage.

Speaking on behalf of HDRA, Jack Edwards says, “Forgetting to clean your system unit essentially clogs up its exhaust fans. This prevents their computers from functioning efficiently. It’s not too complicated of a task to do, and it helps your computer out every bit to keep it pristine.”

The article mentions “Cool air has to successfully enter the case and hot air has to come out. This won’t happen if the filters are obstructed with dust and debris or the exhausts are blocked. If this happens, the computer or the components inside the case can overheat.” People will often forget to defrost their fridge’s freezer or their air conditioning units. In the same vein, some people forget to clean out their system units. This can be very dangerous, especially for people who use their computers for long hours every day.

One particular thing that you have to be careful about when cleaning your computer is electrostatic damage (ESD). Our fingertips are naturally charged with static electricity. This electricity discharges upon contact with conductive material, causing damage to it. And this is why grounding yourself before touching your computer is an important first step. You can do this by touching another metal object to release the static discharge or wearing an anti-static wristband.

“You don’t have to do it every day,” said Edwards. “but it’s typically a good idea to make sure you clean your computer regularly. We recommend a regular dusting session at least three to six months. Cleaning it out ensures that it runs its fastest, prevents hardware damage, and extends its useful life.”

Neglecting taking care of your computer will have a lot of repercussions in the long term. These won’t manifest for a while, but it’s best to prevent them from happening all together. Take care of your hardware through regular maintenance, and your software by taking precautions. Always make sure that your computer is safe from malware. This way, you can prevent data loss, which is a major threat for any individual or company. Luckily, data recovery services like HDRA exist for this very reason.

Over 95% of HDRA’s customers have been able to fully recover 100% of their data, so HDRA is confident in guaranteeing that offer. One testimonial on HDRA’s website says “I called Hard Drive Recovery Associates after my son accidentally nudged my laptop off the table, making it pretty much useless. Unfortunately, I had tons of baby pictures and other super important memories, and I wasn't willing to give them up! Louis was my data recovery engineer, and I am eternally grateful for his help during what was a pretty scary time. I'm not sure that laptop data recovery could be any easier than this! Would definitely recommend!”

HDRA also has a toll-free support line which is online 24/7 on which they provide recovery diagnosis for absolutely free. They have a fully equipped lab which is located directly off of the I5, making it simpler for consumers to get help quickly. Their facilities ensures that businesses all throughout Santa Ana and its surrounding areas can rely freely on HDRA’s quick-response, free server pickup on RAID recovery and repair jobs.

The company's Wordpress website contains a full set of all of HDRA’s blog articles and recent releases for those who feel the need to find out more about hard disc issues. Interested parties can also connect with HDRA through their Facebook using this link.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

The Coronavirus Has Taken Its Toll on the Tech Industry

The coronavirus has been greatly affecting all areas of global society, the tech sector included. Some of the world’s biggest companies have closed stores, offices, and factories in China, with their employees being restricted from nonessential travel. The closure of stores throughout the country coincided with the Lunar New Year, a time when businesses close shop for everyone to observe the holidays. But then, the closures were extended until February 10. However, there are some provinces in the country that have advised companies to further delay their openings until March 1.

Many short and long-term effects are expected, from events being postponed to product launches not happening as scheduled. Looking deer into what’s happening, here are some of the ways that the coronavirus has been crippling global tech:

Employee travel restricted

Not just has the coronavirus stopped employees of the tech industry to cancel travel itineraries to China, Hongkong, and Macao, but travel plans to other parts of the world have also slowed down. LG, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon are just some of the companies that have stopped employees from traveling to China and telling those who are based in China to work from home instead.

The virus has already killed more than 630 people, infected 31,000, and spread to at least 25 countries, prompting many countries to warn against travel to China. But after the World Health Organization declared the outbreak a global health emergency, companies are becoming cautious of any unnecessary travel.



Factories closed

The manufacturing of goods in China has come to a halt following the lockdown of the Hubei province, which has Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus. The province and surrounding areas also happen to be hubs of technology manufacturing, and with factories in the area expected to be closed until the next weeks of February to early March, global supply chains will feel the squeeze.

Wuhan, the epicenter of the epidemic, is home to many electronic suppliers. Provinces like Zhejiang, Guangdong and Henan are very important for technology manufacturing and are also the most affected by the virus.



Production paused

With factories in China crippled, a lot of tech accessories, particularly smartphones, headsets, and cars, among others are expected to be delayed in production. Of course, Chinese brands such as Huawei, Oppo, and Xiaomi will bear the biggest brunt.

For smartphone companies in China, the suspension of factory operations could lead to a snag in manufacturing processes and even supply shortages, according to analysts. This is especially so for companies who rely on factories and components in the province of Hubei – ground zero of the outbreak – where many cities are currently under lockdown.



Participation in events decreased

Perhaps the biggest event that has seen its attendance dwindle because of the coronavirus is the highly anticipated Mobile World Congress (MWC). Several big names, including LG, Sony, and Amazon have withdrawn their participation in the annual event. But then, beyond a lackluster MWC 2020, the lower production output of Chinese factories has many speculators seeing worse implications of the global health crisis, particularly with what was predicted as the explosion of 5G devices in the 2020 summit.

There are likely to be three times more 5G devices introduced in 2020 than in 2019. In addition, the first 5G-only wireless networks (referred to as 5G stand alone or 5GSA) will rollout, as opposed to 5G non-standalone (5GNS) which leverages the existing 4G/LTE networks. However, the coronavirus may make MWC the event that “should have been great” and the virus has greater implications for the rest of the high-tech industry.


Update: This year's MWC has been canceled altogether.

Organizers on Wednesday officially canceled Mobile World Congress, the world’s biggest cell phone show. After weeks of major companies pulling out of the Barcelona trade show due to fears about the coronavirus (COVID-19. as the World Health Organization, aka WHO, is now calling it), GSMA, the organization in charge of the show, has decided to cancel.


Unlike the coronavirus situation that may still take months for the world to completely recover from, you don’t need to wait for long if you happen to lose your files in a hard drive and need assistance. Let our team of professionals put your mind at ease. You can also visit this The Coronavirus Has Taken Its Toll on the Tech Industry See more on: Hard Drive Recovery Associates Blog


Data Recovery Services Firm Discusses Drive-Less Computers

Hard Drive Recovery Associates (HDRA), a data recovery services company based in Irvine, California recently released an article that discusses a lesser known technology in computers today: hard drive-less computers.

In the post, “Hard Drive-less Computer”, Hard Drive Recovery Associates discusses how a computer can be used without the presence of a hard drive.

Speaking on behalf of HDRA, Jack Edwards says, “Most people are used to having hard drives as part of the package. It is the norm, and will remain to be for the foreseeable future, but computer technology also allows for modern computers to be able to boot using external hard drives, flash memory cards, or even removable flash drives.”

Typically, the average computer user will opt for the more common way of booting their computer which is by means of a hard drive, but computers can actually function without a hard drive. One way of booting a computer without the aid of a hard drive is network booting. This allows a network of computers of differing types to be booted and controlled simultaneously through a single server.

“It’s increasingly common for companies to make use of network booting in their computer networks so they can have increased control,” said Edwards. “Doing this not only makes things more convenient but is also cost-effective since hard drive failure is now out of the equation. This also allows for the usage of inexpensive, easily replaceable hardware.”

Peripheral devices can also be utilized when booting a computer, such is the case with many available routers. Some of these routers use flash memory cards as either their boot medium or to simply extend their storage capacity.

“Given that there are a multitude of options available out there to continue business-as-usual without the aid of a hard drive, the possible loss of data is still a major issue, caused by malware, viruses, or hard drive failure,” stated Edwards. "Data management should be top priority in your business, and, as such, data loss should be approached with zero-tolerance. Whole businesses and organizations have either completely collapsed or have had to restart from scratch because of poor data management. This is the exact reason why we offer our data recovery services.”

Plenty of individuals as well as companies also testify to the quality that Hard Drive Recovery Associates provides through its data recovery services. “I dread the idea of having to start from complete scratch. My business would have been in shambles if you guys hadn’t recovered it all,” one testimonial states.

HDRA encourages anyone with a problem with their business or personal hard drive to contact them directly even if others have already told them that their data is unrecoverable. HDRA specializes in hard drive data recovery for RAID, Mac and PC hard disks as well as SSD drives, and can recover data from damaged or clicking hard drives.

Almost 95% of HDRA’s customers have been able to have 100% of their data retrieved completely, so HDRA is able to offer that guarantee with confidence. They also have a toll-free support line which is online 24/7 where they provide recovery diagnosis for absolutely free. They have a fully equipped lab which is located directly off of the I5, making it simpler for consumers to get help quickly. Their facilities ensures that businesses all throughout Santa Ana and its surrounding areas can rely freely on HDRA’s quick-response, free server pickup on RAID recovery and repair jobs.

Hard Drive Recovery Associates has a full set of blog articles on the company's Blogspot website for those who feel the need to find out more about hard disc issues. Interested parties can connect with HDRA through their preferred social media platforms as well.