August 17, 2021
Good morning, everyone!
This week’s critical vulnerabilities:
Patch All the Things!
Backup Basics: Part Two
I’ve talked in previous newsletters about The Importance of Good Backups, and said this in particular: If you store your data locally, keep backups offsite. If you store your data offsite (in the cloud), keep local backups.
Most of you were thinking in terms of business, not personal, I bet? And if you did wonder, you probably thought to yourself that all your (personal, family) data is stored locally anyway, right?
Well, what about data that you store in places like Google Drive? What about all those photos stored in Facebook and Instagram? Do you have local copies of those?
I started thinking down this path when I read a recent article (”Your Facebook Account Was Hacked. Getting Help May Take Weeks — Or $299”) about people losing access to their Facebook accounts and their biggest complaint (most of them) was losing all the photos they had posted. I immediately thought “What? Don’t you know to backup your FB data periodically?” And then I thought, well, maybe not. DO YOU?
Here's how to backup your Facebook data:
- Go to Facebook.com > Settings > Privacy
- Go to Your Facebook Information
- Scroll to Download Profile Information and click on View
- Choose dates, what's to be included etc.
- Tap Create File
- You will get an alert when the archive file is ready.
What about Instagram?
- Go to your Profile page
- Go to Settings
- Go to Privacy & Security, then Account Privacy
- Scroll down to Data Download
- Press the Request Download button
- Confirm email address & enter password
- Press Next
- An email link to the download will be sent within 48 hours
What about Apple's iCloud? Apple has insructions for backing up iCloud from virtually every device and every platform right here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204055.
What about Google Drive? Well, that depends on how you are using it. There are several configuration options, some of which let you automatically sync everything locally. In that case, you can just copy that folder somewhere else as a backup. If not doing local sync, you can go to the main folder and click the Download icon. Google will zip everything up into one tidy package for you to download.
One caution about “sync” options: If you have a sync option, so that anytime changes are made locally they are copied to the cloud, be sure you have a non-synced copy somewhere safe. Why is that? Well, if you get hit with ransomware and it encrypts everything locally, those encrypted copies get synced to the cloud and you’ve lost everything. Yep I have seen this happen with my own eyes. One client very nearly lost a huge store of data, but fortunately it was also being synced to a laptop that hadn’t been used in a week or so (serendipitously someone in the sync group was on vacation), and that laptop hadn’t been connected to the Internet so it was clean. We booted it up without Internet, made a copy of the locally synced (clean!) data and were able to restore most of what had been encrypted.
Now take just a couple of minutes to think about all the other places you have data stored in the cloud, and start investigating how to make local copies.
Feel ready to face the rest of the week now? Hope so!
Talk to you again soon!
Security Awareness Training Goes Live Again!
Thanks to COVID-19, lots of things went virtual, including my employee Security Awareness Training. Thankfully, live training is making a comeback! So wherever you and your employees may be, I can deliver a fun and informative training session in whatever format you prefer.
Contact me to schedule your employee training sessions. They're fun! ☺