IT @ Home

The recent rise in ransomware has caused headaches and data loss for not only businesses but home users as well.  In many cases the best defense against ransomware is a good backup of your systems.  Below are some backup strategies that home users can utilize to protect and preserve their data:

Built-in Backup Solutions

Starting with Windows 7 and above, Microsoft includes a built in "Backup and Restore" feature within the operating system which can backup not only files and folders but also create an image of the entire system.  While basic, it includes the ability to schedule backups and provides a straight forward user interface for restoring files and folders.  For more information, including how to find and setup the software on your system, visit the Microsoft support page.

For MacOS users Apple includes Time Machine within their operating system to allow users to backup and restore their system(s) and files.  Similar to the Windows "Backup and Restore" feature, Time Machine offers a straightforward interface and allows users to take a manual backup of their system or setup an automated schedule on which their backups will occur.  For more information, including how to setup backups and perform restores using Time Machine, visit Apple's support page.

Just as there are many flavors and distributions of Linux, there is a multitude of backup software available for Linux.  An excellent overview of backup, backup types and the various utilities available to users can be found on the Ubuntu Community Help Wiki.

3rd Party Backup Applications

For users looking for more advanced features, more granular scheduling and backups of devices beyond just desktops and laptops a third party backup solution may be the answer.  Enterprise backup software vendors such as StorageCraft, Acronis and Paragon all make home versions of their products that go beyond the capabilities contained within the previously mentioned Windows Backup, Time Machine and Linux solutions.  For a more complete round up and comparison of these solutions check out the following article from PC Magazine.

Online Backup Applications

Many users sync documents and photos up to Cloud services like OneDrive, DropBox, and Google Drive but these services are not necessarily intended as full-fledged backup solutions.  However, there are a number of Cloud based backup solutions such as Mozy, Carbonite and CrashPlan which are designed to be complete backup solutions for backing all of your files up to the Cloud.  These types of solutions can eliminate the need for additional local storage (external hard drives, network storage, etc.) in the home and can help keep data safe from ransomware or malware that attacks locally or network attached storage.  In some cases they can be used in addition to one of the local backup solutions mentioned earlier to provide a redundant backup strategy for home users and devices.  In addition to their review of local backup products, PC Magazine has a more comprehensive comparison of Cloud backup products on their site.