Posts Tagged ‘Carbonite’

Yes, Reset Your Carbonite Password–It’s OK

imageIf you’ve received this email, it’s ok.  Carbonite detected some strange activity on their network and to be safe, they reset everyone’s password.  So it’s ok when you get this email in your inbox.  Click on the green “Reset Your Password” button and change your password. 

I want you to know that THIS is what a GOOD companies do when they see something suspicious.  They are being proactive and they are protecting you.  This is the kind of company you want protecting your data.  You don’t want to find out from someone else and then the company reluctantly sends a message because you already know.

This is just one more reason why I recommend Carbonite for your off-line backups.  These are good people.

Unfortunately, I Have a New Client

I say that because she broke my #1 rule for avoiding viruses.  NEVER click on a link or open an attachment in an email unless you know who it’s from AND YOU’RE EXPECING IT!”

Well, before today she wasn’t my client and she did just that.  She clicked on a Microsoft Word attachment that came from a  friend’s email, and BOOM – a program was downloaded and started that encrypted all her data and wanted HUNDREDS of dollars to decrypt the data.  Her only backup was MONTHS old.

The new encryption viruses will encrypt the files on your computer and anything ATTACHED to your computer.  So you need an UNattached backup as well.  Either unplug your external drive when the backup is done, or get something like Carbonite (I’m a reseller – but they ARE the best) and even if an encrypted file gets backed up to Carbonite, they will have your older UNencrypted version as well and can fully restore you.

Call me if you want Carbonite or want to figure out another way to avoid paying maybe $900 to get your data back with a clean computer.

700 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Carbonite

700 reasons?  Really?  Yes! 

I have a client who discovered what this means.  There is a particularly nasty virus going around.  It’s not really new, just a new variation.  I first told ya’ll about this two years.

The most common delivery method is via email as an attachment.  Here’s a pop-quiz boys and girls.  What is my number 1 rule regarding getting viruses and malware?  DON’T click on links or OPEN ATTACHMENTS in an email unless you know who its from AND you’re expecting it.

Well guess what?  My client OPENED the attachment in an email and all his personal files, documents, pictures, music and videos were encrypted so well that NO ONE was going to get them back with the encryption key.  Guess who has the key?  That’s right – the bad guys.  They are happy to tell you exactly what has happened to your files and how to get them back.  Of course, that key will cost you.

How much?  $700.  That’s right.  The only way to decrypt those files is with that $700 key.  But of course, THEN you have to backup those files to another drive before wiping the computer’s drive completely clean, reinstall Windows, all the apps and then restore the unencrypted files.  Another $200+

Oh, and this nasty virus will also encrypt any attached USB drive or connected network drive.  The ONLY safe backup is an off-site backup. 

Carbonite is online and off-site.  Even some of the encrypted files got automatically backed up, but the team at Carbonite knows all about this virus and saves multiple copies of your files so in cases such as this, they can strip out the encrypted files and just restore all your unencrypted files. 

So “truth in advertising”, I am a Carbonite reseller.  I make a few dollars a year from each subscription.  However, Carbonite is the best or I wouldn’t be telling you this. 

Carbonite is only $59.99 a year and gives you total off-site, disaster recovery level protection.   If my client hadn’t had Carbonite on his computer, he would have lost ALL his data and had to pay the $700 plus the expense of cleaning the computer – close to $1,000 total.  His Carbonite subscription saved him a LOT of money.  So consider how you would feel if you couldn’t get to your data without paying $1,000 to get it all back and know your computer was safe.  $59 a year is pretty cheap.  I use it.  When the fire in Steiner Ranch hit a few years ago, I didn’t worry about my data because it was backed up on Carbonite.  The house could burn to the ground but at least my important data was safe.

Send me an email [email protected] or call me at 512-981-7835 if you have questions or would like me to set you up with Carbonite.  You can go directly to and just get it straight from them, but my Carbonite customers can call me (no charge for Carbonite issues) and I’ll personally help you for the same amount.

Backups Aren’t Expensive – Losing Your Data IS!!!

imageOh, you don’t think you need a backup do you?  Let me ask ONE question….

Is there a single file on your computer that can’t be replaced that you would absolutely pay anything to get back?

Think about it, do you keep your finances on it?  Do you have photos of trips or family that would really hurt to lose?

What about documents you’ve created?  Whatever it is, all it takes is one power surge or hard drive meltdown to make you desperate to get it back, and that’s when it gets expensive.

If your hard drive totally fails, in MOST cases it is possible to recover you data, but that will require a company that specializes in data recovery using “clean rooms” (much cleaner than hospital operating rooms) and that can build a temporary hard drive using your platters to recover the data.  When I say expensive, I mean $1,500 or more.

An external hard drive for your computer will run you between $50 and $80.  An online service like Carbonite is $59.99 a year and protects you from a fire in your home melting your computer AND the backup drive or a robbery that will again take everything, including your backup (full disclosure, I am a reseller for Carbonite, but they really are the best, and I was a customer before becoming a reseller.)

So let me say it again… Backup!  Backup!  Backup!  Contact me if you need help figuring out what’s best for you.

Tek-Chic Systems Now Has a Backup Program

imageI KNOW you have documents and photos that would devastate you if your hard drive crashed.  “Oh, I have an external hard drive backup” you say.  Well, what happens if someone breaks in and steals your computer equipment (they WILL take it all) or there is a fire and everything just melts.  I know you’ve got insurance for your things, but your data is gone. 

Carbonite is an inexpensive way to very simply and securely have your data stored in the cloud so when the worst happens, you don’t have to worry about your data.

When there was a fire in the Steiner Ranch community where I lived and we were evacuated, I didn’t worry the slightest about what I had on my computer.  I took care of my dogs and got out of the house.  I THOUGHT about my computer data, but knew it was backed up with Carbonite and took care of more important things in the moment.

Now you can just go to and see the options you have.  Carbonite is absolutely the best in class when it comes to online backup.  For $59.99 a year you can back up EVERYTHING on your computers hard drive, no matter how big it is – AND you can access you data from anywhere via the web.  It’s EASY to install and once it is – you can forget about it.  Carbonite will automatically backup your data as it changes.

Carbonite is an excellent company and I have to tell you, ONLINE backup is the ONLY way to protect you from certain viruses.  There are viruses out there that will encrypt all your documents (photos, music, etc.) on ANY hard drive connected to it.  Currently they want $300 to give you the decryption key, otherwise after 72 hours you data is lost forever.  Off-site backup with Carbonite makes sure you can ALWAYS get your data back.  PLEASE don’t call me when it’s too late.  I may not be able to help you then.

Got Carbonite? Know Your Password?

imageThe great thing about Carbonite (the very best online backup service) is that once you’ve installed it you can forget about it.  The PROBLEM with Carbonite is that once you install it you DO forget about it.  Hopefully if you’re a regular reader of my blog you know about and HAVE Carbonite on your computer (if you don’t read last month’s article “Crisis and Carbonite”, then come back here.)

I encountered several clients recently who either had new computes or needed to restore data and surprise – they didn’t know their password!  No problem, because when you forget your password, Carbonite will send you a link that will then ask you your three secret questions that you can answer and then reset your password.  Well guess what?  Every one of them had not only forgotten their password, they forgot the answer to at least one if not all three of their secret questions!  Really! 

imageSo give yourself a test.  Go right now to and click the “log in” link in the upper right corner of the web site.  From there it’s real simple, just enter your email address and your password.  If you know your information, you’ll be logged in and you’re good.  If not…. then you now know why I’m writing this.  After clicking on the “Log in” link, click the link that says “forgot password”.  There you will enter your email address and they will send you a link.  Click the link in the email and you will be taken to the web site and have to answer your three secret questions.  If you FAIL to answer correctly, try again – but after three attempts if you fail you will have to wait 30 minutes before trying again.

At this point it’s clear you don’t know the answers and you’ll need to call Carbonite’s support center during normal business hours and convince them that you are you and they will assist.

When you change your password, make sure it’s a STRONG password and make sure you document it somewhere in case you forget (I recommend you download LastPass, but that’s another article.)

Crisis and Carbonite

imageThe fire in Steiner Ranch (the community where I and many of my clients live in the NW Austin area) really drove home the need for off-site (these days usually online) backup.  24 homes here were completely destroyed by fire.  When I say completely, that includes anything that may have been on a computer and even on an external backup drive there in the home.  They are gone – along with any digital photos of kids at their first birthday, first day of school or even graduation.  Also gone are any school or work-related documents, presentation, etc. 

We’ve been back in our homes 24 hours since the mandatory evacuation and one of my clients called me today with three neighbors who wanted Carbonite on their computer to protect their data.

So what is Carbonite and what is “online backup”?  For a full explanation of backup strategy, please read my monthly article from last October titled 3-2-1 Backup.  Online backup is getting a copy of your data files (documents, photos, music, files YOU create) out of your home and onto a server off-site so that it’s safe in the event of something like robbery or fire.  Homeowners of the 24 destroyed home don’t have to worry about the information on their computers if they had Carbonite.  Carbonite would have continuously been monitoring their system and securely (as in encrypted so no one could snoop) uploaded their data to secure servers where it would be safely stored until needed.  There are of course things more important, and I don’t want to minimize the extent of their tragic loss – I just want to address the tech aspects of the disaster.  Once you replace your computer, then you can log into your Carbonite account and RESTORE all your lost data.  Your photos, music and documents that otherwise would have been lost.

When I evacuated I didn’t worry about my data – I just pulled the plug on my computers to protect them from the power surge when the power returned and walked out of the house with my dogs and a few personal items (things I truly couldn’t replace or needed.)  I knew I could get all my data back later from Carbonite if my house burnt down (thankfully it didn’t.) 

Carbonite is only $59 a year.  It automatically backs up all your data.  If you can push the button to turn on your computer, and it is connected to the Internet, then your data is safe.  You don’t have to run a special program or have any special knowledge.  As a bonus, your data is available to you from any computer you use.  If you’re away from home and want (or need) a file that was on your home computer, you can log onto Carbonite and access your files online.

I only wrote this post because it seemed evident this was a concern among computer users faced with the very REAL possibility of losing what was on their computers.  I hadn’t done so up to this point because the last thing I wanted was to have it appear as an exploited attempt to take advantage of a bad situation (frankly I’m a horrible salesperson.)  So like I said earlier, Carbonite is only $59 a year.  If you think I’m taking advantage of circumstances, then just go to Carbonite’s web site and sign up directly through them.  Otherwise, give me a call and I’ll take care of you for the very same $59.  You can set it up yourself or allow me to do it – either way the cost is the same to you (allowing me to do it puts a couple of dollars a year onto my table.)  But whatever you do – PLEASE make sure you have some kind of off-site backup.  I’ve set up many clients with an onsite backup system involving an external have drive and software that performs the backup at a specified time – but often I’ve sadly discovered that the external drives hadn’t been used for months, meaning the computer hadn’t been backed up for months.  And even with an external drive there in the home, that doesn’t protect you from fire or theft (if they take the computer, they’ll take the external drive too.)

So call me and get some peace of mind over those digital memories.  In a disaster, you have enough to worry about – just walk away from your computer, take care of more important things and let Carbonite take care of your data.

5GB of Free File Storage with Amazon

Updated 3/30:  In addition to the 5GB of storage, any songs you purchase through Amazon can be stored in your Cloud Drive for FREE.  Meaning none of your Amazon purchased music will count against your 5GB.  Go ahead, buy all the music you want.  You’ll have it backed up for free in your Cloud Drive and you can download it as often as you like and use it wherever you wish.


3/29:  imageAmazon is offering 5 Gigabytes of free storage with no strings attached.  Most of you probably already have an Amazon account, if you don’t go set one up.  It’s real simple to use, no download necessary, just sign up and using their web interface you choose the files you want to upload and what folder to upload to (documents, photos, music, etc.) and bam, you’re done.

Now, you need to know that this is NOT secure storage, so don’t upload the file that contains all your passwords, or those photos of your naked girlfriend while your wife was out of town (ok – to be fair, or your naked boyfriend while your husband was out of town.)  But maybe those FAMILY photos you treasure so much, or certainly those important term papers you’re working on at the end of each semester.

5GB is quite a bit of space, so especially if you have NO backup system (and shame on you if you don’t) at least put some of your data here for the eventual rainy day.  Of course, if you NEED more space Amazon will be more than happy to sell it to you, but if that’s the case then just contact me and get Carbonite with UNLIMITED storage for $55 a year AND it will be completely secure.

3-2-1 Backup!

I’ll save you some time.  If you don’t backup your computer now, and nothing anyone says is going to change that, stop reading now and start printing out those photos you’re going to lose someday.

If you are already backing up, or are willing to entertain the idea that someday you WILL have a computer failure or worse (like theft or fire) and will lose everything you have on your computer, then keep reading.

Peter Krogh is a professional photographer and an expert in digital asset management.  He teaches the “3-2-1 Rule”, which goes like this: You need to have 3 copies of your digital data, on 2 different types of media and 1 copy off-site.

Let’s start with WHAT you should be backing up.  Your copy of Windows or OS-X or Linux (whatever operating system you use) can be replaced, so can your Word, Excel and PowerPoint programs.  Just go to the store and buy another copy if you need to, or re-install from the discs if you have them.  I’m talking the digital data YOU have created, either with a program, or perhaps with a camera.  Maybe you have lots of spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations you’ve created for work.  Or you have school papers you’ve written, and have a couple of papers currently in process.  Maybe you’re a music lover and have LOTS of music you’ve downloaded (legally of course) at considerable expense, and of course there is email that sits on your computer.  Last but not least are your photos from your digital camera.  Everyone has that ONE picture or video that would just kill them to lose – maybe it’s Emily singing in the talent show, or Michael crossing home plate after hitting his home run, or Jacob’s first baby picture.  THIS is what you want to be backing up, things you NEVER want to lose.

It’s important to start with knowing where your originals are.  I’ve seen people who have their music on the computer’s hard drive, their photos on an external hard drive, and keep the work files on a USB flash drive.  Just because your data isn’t on your primary hard drive doesn’t mean you’ve backed it up, so KNOW where your originals are so you can be sure you’re backing them up.

Having a 3-2-1 strategy isn’t hard.  Knowing where all your originals is the first step, NOW we can back them up.  3 copies means just that, 3 copies.  2 different types of media means 2 different types of storage technologies, that could be CD’s or DVD’s, USB flash drives, even old floppy discs or zip drives.  The reason for this is because one type of technology may be more susceptible to a particular type of accident or disaster than another.  If your house is flooded and your computer is underwater, that hard drive might never spin again, but you can probably clean those DVD’s and read from them again.  In a fire, those DVD’s are going to melt pretty quick but the hard drive MIGHT last long enough to still work.  Disasters like fire and theft are why you need ONE copy off-site.  Perhaps in addition to copying your files to an external hard drive, you copy and new or changed files to a DVD and mail it to a friend or family member to file away for you, or you can take it to your office, getting it out of the house.  Another option is for off-site backup is a fast-growing category known as online backup.  There are lots of players out there, the two best known are Carbonite and Mozy (full disclosure – I’m a Carbonite reseller.)  Both Mozy and Carbonite offer unlimited storage for a flat fee of about $5 a month, and the backups occur in the background automatically, so you don’t have to remember to do anything.  I really like this method because all you have to do to backup your data is turn on your computer (and be connected to the Internet of course.)  The downside to the online backup method is that it can take a LONG time to get your data initially up to the internet, anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on just how much data you have.  And if you DO lose your original and local back to fire or theft, it might take a full day or two for all your files to download back onto your computer (but you can always immediately get the important files you need.)

For your local backups to an external hard drive, the best way to do it is just drag and drop the files from the computer to the external drive.  If you want to use software, I like SyncBack SE on Windows and ChronoSync on the Mac.  For backup up to CD’s or DVD’s use your burner’s software. 

I hear about people every week who encountered a computer failure and DESPERATELY need to retrieve their data, and of course they have no backups.  PLEASE don’t become one of those people.  One day it will happen to you, and it’s much cheaper and easier on your nerves in the long run.

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