Don’t wait another year to install a data-protection program
New Year's resolutions have long been the butt of jokes. It's easy to make fun of our feeble attempts to break bad habits, lose weight and the like.
Among the bad habits that many of us own up to but never seem to quite rectify is not backing up and fully protecting our computer data. No, we don't ever want to lose those last photos of grandma or our daughter's first soccer game, but despite this, we still don't do what's necessary to ensure we don't lose them.
Over the holidays I had a chance to give a couple of new Norton security and data protection programs a spin. The first I deployed was their new "Save & Restore" program, which allows you to easily set up a backup system. What I liked about this program was that they set default parameters for you by providing weekly and daily options to backup photos, music files, desktop settings, etc. If you don't like the standard configuration, it's easy to customize your own setup. It took me all of 15 minutes to set this up. Of course, you're going to need an external hard drive to back those files up.
The second essential program is Norton's 2007 security package which incorporates in one box just about every possible cyber protection, including firewall, anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-spam, anti-phishing, and anti-intrusion. The Norton 2007 suite was easy to install, and the updated software has faster scans, faster boot times and less memory usage.
In the past, I've also urged readers to backup their data remotely, and if you haven't done it already, I would suggest you do so ASAP. As everyone knows, in recent times we've been hit by an earthquake, a nasty flood in Manoa, a dam break on Kauai, and we're constantly prone to tsunamis. (Of course, your home can burn down or be burglarized, too.) It's crucial to have an additional data back-up out of harm's way.
Fortunately there's a new program out there called Mozy Remote Backup that can resolve this. What's more, it's easy to use and inexpensive. It is available at www.mozy.com and costs $4.95 a month or $54.45 a year. Mozy also has a free version, which is limited to 2 gigs of data--which is plenty of space for most people. (They will give you more free space, if you refer new customers.)
Currently it only works with Windows XP and the new Vista, but a new version will run on the Macintosh later this year.
I've got my program set up to back up my data daily, and it has done so religiously. If I need to restore a lost file, I simply log in with a password and, bingo, I can choose the backup date and folder. Other companies (such as my own company, Oceanic) offer business solutions similar to Mozy, but I particularly like this solution for home use.
The upshot: You simply have to have a data-protection program such as Norton's and a remote backup strategy for 2007.
is general manager of digital phone at Oceanic Time Warner Cable. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org