Secure Online Backup with unparalleled support

We’ve all heard the old saw, “Hindsight is 20-20.” The problem is, correcting a deficiency AFTER the fact is generally helpful for the future, but of little immediate value when you have suffered a data loss. To successfully provide for any eventuality, planning is important – but the correct implementation is paramount.

In almost 30 years of working with computers I have seen more than my share of computers suffer hardware failures and cost their users valuable and critical data. In many cases, there was some sort of backup, but not all of them were actually usable for various reasons. Tapes can stretch, break or simply fail to be read. Thumb drives can be lost or damaged easily and hard drives can fail or develop file system errors that render them unreadable. Cloud-based backups put your data in some ethereal storage location and may make your data susceptible to hackers and other miscreants.Enveloc Remote Backup: No hindsight necessary.

Security is a rapidly-rising concern on the minds of the computing public as well. Many of us in the IT field are very happy to finally see this happening as the average user has historically been dangerously blasé about making sure their data is protected. If your backups are even encrypted in the first place, where is the key? Was it a key you made up and entered during installation or is it one that was generated for you? Who has access to that key and what measures are in place to prevent misuse?

Some people may think that effective remote backup services are expensive or difficult to manage. They are concerned that extra expenses and labor needs will make the solution not quite so cost-effective. Well, if you have a crystal ball, you can always just look ahead to the day your hard drive fails and then implement a plan a day or two beforehand. That will certainly save you money, time and effort. Unfortunately, that only works in fairy tales.

One more thing you should consider is the company behind the backup. Do the people who work there care about you, your data and whether or not you back up? Are they responsive and knowledgeable when you call them for support or just to ask a question or do they sound like they are reading from a script? Are they US-based or are they just part of a huge offshore call center handling thousands of companies’ customers? Most importantly, do they notify you if you do not back up on schedule? If the answer to all these questions is not a resounding “YES,” you are putting your faith in the wrong backup company.

The good news is the solution is fast, easy and affordable. Automatic offsite backup by the right company, using industry-proven methods and actively managing the backups can ensure that, regardless of what happens to your computer, your vital data is always protected.

We’ve talked about the importance of Encryption – in transit and at rest – but a lot of people have questions about the best way to keep up with their Passwords or Encryption Keys. As you’ve no doubt experienced, when asked to create a password these days, there is usually a requirement that there be some complexity: numbers, special characters, capital and lowercase letters. With complexity arises the problem of remembering your password.

Enveloc - PassLoc Secure Password Manager

Of course, you don’t have just one password. There is one for your bank account, another for your on-line mail service, Google or Yahoo or AOL or whatever you like, and still another for your favorite shopping site. And of course one for your backup system.

There are a number of good password keepers out there, and we’ve got a very simple, free-form one you’re welcome to use. But what happens if your computer crashes and you lose the password file that contains the password that restores your data? We’ll come back to that.

First, what is a good password strategy? In general, passwords based on personal or company information that is easily obtained from the internet – such as company or account name, actual first or last name, initials of the name, system name, etc. — are extremely easy to guess and should never be used. Similarly, common or easily guessed words such as “password,” “guest” or “admin” should be avoided. Hackers know all the tricks including reverse spellings and character replacements (substituting a “3” for an “E.” etc.) and have algorithms to handle such cases.

Passwords should also be discrete and not shared between multiple systems/services/applications. Using a single password is the equivalent of using a single key for your car, house, office, mail box, and safety deposit box – if you lose that key, you lose … and give away access to everything.

Use numbers, letters (both cases) and non-alphanumeric characters and avoid common English words or common numbers (like the current year) and you will have a good password.

PassLoc User Interface

Now, how to keep up with your passwords. Printing them out, sealing them in an envelope and keeping them in a locked safe, or safe deposit box, is one method, though not too practical. There may be one or two key passwords you’d keep like that: especially the password that protects your backups. That is the one password that you need to have written down, locked up, onsite and offsite.

For everyday use, a Password Manager is becoming essential. If you’d like to try ours, you can download it here for free. You just have to remember one password, and because you’ll use it frequently, you’re not likely to forget it. Make it a good one! And just in case, write it down and store it securely.