How much do you value your data? If your external hard drive fell off of your desk and cracked open right now what would you do?
I love my external drive. It’s handy, but it’s not safe. If your data is important, you use an external hard drive AND an offsite backup with dual vaults. This is why.
Your external hard drive is hardware. Ransomware & viruses corrupt hardware, lock down data, or both. In my last blog I explained how the FBI has recently changed their opinion on how to deal with ransomware attacks. The FBI now recommends not paying to get your data back at all. This is because recent research is suggesting that only half of ransomware victims actually recover their data even when they pay in full! Ouch! I have no idea why ransomware hackers would sabotage their own lucrative business model, but it is happening.
An external hard drive is fabulously handy to add space to your system and easily grab a document. They are great to use to do rebuilds too. They also save time without the added step of having to connect to your online backup, login, select data and wait for that same document to download.
BUT, a virus can be on your computer or device for sometime before an actual problem occurs. Antivirus software can only protect us to a point. New viruses are very clever and can slip by the anti-virus protection. They can easily infect your hard drive too. Wherever you use that external hard drive, you are at risk of either catching or giving viruses.
To be fair, not all offsite data software is created equally. In my nearly two decades of living and breathing backups, I have seen some of the most advertised backups fail when recovery time comes. You may find yourself crossing your fingers that your external hard drive can save your data in an emergency. For example, when your offsite backup data recovers in some strange format and/or some data accidentally wasn’t chosen to backup in the cloud. This is why having and maintaining an external hard drive is important. Tips for choosing an offsite backup that works when needed are listed further below.
When an external fails by being dropped, step-on, soaked with coffee or infected by a virus how relieved will you be knowing you have offsite backups on board. Depending on the retention period you selected for your offsite backups (30 day, 90 day, 1 year) you can be clever and go back in time a few months prior to before the virus took hold, wipe your everything (computer & external) and reset your system state by using your online backup.
Your online backup is the key to protecting your data and not your external hard drive. Your external hard drive should be viewed as your second line of defense. In my experience externals are fine until they break or get infected. Choosing an offsite backup with proper dual vaulting is also important.
When choosing an offsite backup:
- Choose an offsite plan that is at least business class. The $5-10.00 plan probably won’t work as you think it will during a real life data loss scenario.
- Make sure you ask if it has dual vaulting.
- Make sure the backup can recover to system state.
- Do a full backup test recovery to make sure it works. (Nobody ever does this and then they are surprised if it doesn’t work as advertised during the emergency recovery)
- Make sure 24/7 support is included so you are not alone during a recovery and you can get help round the clock.
Remote Data Backups has been protecting clients data using some of the most secure vaults in the world, HPE & Iron Mountain vaults. We are here 24/7 an located in the USA to help you with always free support. We can even remote into your computer with permission to help you if you are stuck.
Stay protected. Stay safe,
CEO, Remote Data Backups