Why do USB Flash Drives Fail?

Natural environmental phenomena

The first reason why a flash disk is bound to fail is as a result of high humidity in the atmosphere. When a flash disk stays plugged in for so long, what happens is that corrosion is likely to occur. The prevalence of high humidity in the air makes an electrical device susceptible to power surges which may affect the functionality of the USB drives in one way or the other. The corrosion that occurs when the USB stays plugged in for a while usually happens internally without the slightest knowledge of the user of the device.

User Risk Errors

It is one of the most common causes of USB malfunctions. The user could accidentally predispose the flash drive to a wide range of risk and threats ranging from falls, bangs and down the list of liquid interference. When this happens, it is evident that the internal hardware of the drive becomes corrupted in one way or the other. Additionally, when you choose to eject the flash while files are still being transferred, it could mean that its design was compromised thus, leading to loss of data and lack of ideal functionality for that matter.

Mother Computer Threats
Other forms of threats are associated with the device within which the USB drive has been connected. More often than not, the computers that we use to run USB drives may have been attacked by a virus from another source. It creates the impression that once a new disk is inserted in the machine, what happens is that all the data is erased and the capability of the disc is compromised. In as much as there are several methods, ideas, and tutorials on how to recover lost data, what happens is that once the flash is compromised, chances of recovery turn to be so slim.

Wear and tear
Keep in mind that every time we move around, we carry our USB drives along with us creating the imprint that more often than we tend to realize, the flash disks begin experiencing failures in their specific joints. When you accidentally knock over a hard place, the SUB drive gets interfered with permanently. Also, most of the bones that are connected in a flash become worn out as a result of frequent handling by the user and this effects to wear and tear in the long-term picture.

Extensive plugged indurations
USB drives are designed in a way that allows them to serve their purpose for only a short period. When you leave the flash disk plugged in for so long, what happens next is that the voltage that is circulating between the machines or rather the device that you might have had your drive plugged in keeps piling by the passage of each second. When it becomes more than what the flash can handle, it is likely that it may cause overheating which ends up predisposing the device as well as the drive to extreme malfunction.

Hacks
The complication with purchasing USB drives that are cheap and easy to acquire in the market is that hacking will be no more difficult than taking a walk in the park. Most influential and successful people tend to store very confidential and highly sensitive in their flash drives without understanding whether it is first, second or third class category of the discs. In the real sense, the third class of flash drives is the cheapest which means it is easy to penetrate regarding beating its security firewall. When these files get into the wrong hands, the information could be used to manipulate and threaten others in society.

Data corruption
Data corruption usually occurs when the user least expects it. When transferring files from the drive to another device or vice versa, the process has to be ended officially be pressing the eject button before finally plugging the flash out. In most circumstances, most people think that once the transfer is complete, the only thing to do is to fast plug it out with the hope that everything is safe. What we fail to understand is that there is that there is a good reason as to why the eject option is inbuilt in the computer. All devices that are capable of loading USB data files have an official eject button which should be not be overlooked no matter the urgency of the situation.

The Lazy Way to Restore Backed-Up Data After a Ransomware Attack

WannaCry is one of the most recent ransomware attacks to be released that sparked losses among hundreds who were not lucky enough to bypass the lock on their data implemented by the ransomware. Many computers were paralyzed, and this is believed to be one of the worst extortion schemes in history. As a result of the effects meted on different computers by this attack and many others, people have been looking for ways to prevent future attacks and few have given thought to the possibility they could also understand how to restore their lost data after a ransomware attack. Below are guidelines formulated to help you restore your data successfully after a ransomware attack without having to pay the extortionists.

Before addressing restoration options…

If your computer has not been attacked yet, you should strive to make it backup ransomware ready. You could achieve this in a number of ways as shown below.

  • Image and file backup. There are many ways to backup your files including using Google Drive and Dropbox. Always ensure your sensitive data does not just rest in folders in your computer without considering a backup option that can be reached easily after a ransomware attack.
  • Use the 3-2-1 backup. This is a backup strategy in which you are supposed to maintain three copies of the same data at different locations. This means if one copy is lost, you can safely fall back to the second.
  • Test recovery procedures. It is also necessary to test recovery procedures so you are able to ascertain how long it takes to recover your data after a ransomware attack. This can also prepare you cost wise.

Data restoration on Windows 8 and 10

You could try to restore your data on a windows PC after a ransomware attack. For this, simply hold down the Shift key and hit the restart option. The PC will reboot on a special recovery menu. Different Windows iterations allow this procedure and one of the most common is to restore the entire PC to an earlier data, say a day before the ransomware attack happened. If you are on Windows 7, boot up your PC and keep hitting F8 until you see Advanced Boot Options. Click on Repair Your Computer then hit Enter. This opens the System Recovery Options window and from there you can select the restore option that will allow you to go back to an earlier date.

When few files are affected

Sometimes the ransomware hits the entire PC while in other cases it only encrypts specific files. If the latter is true, then you might not need to do the system restore option described above. One of the options you have that could help you restore your files without a hustle is the SpiderOak One point-in-time recovery feature. With the software, you specify at which point in time you would like to restore your backups. You could choose to restore the files as they were a few days before the ransomware attack hit. This method is ideal even when you want to restore huge files and folders.

Protection measures you should consider

Backup recovery is a good way to access your files after a ransomware attack, but this does not mean you should never consider protection measures that will keep away any such threats from occurring. To help you prevent ransomware from encrypting your data, here are few protection measures you might want to consider.

  • Multi-layered security. No single security tool will guarantee to give you 100% protection. This is why you should consider using a multi-layered approach which includes antivirus, firewalls, and behavior-based malware detectors. If the malware passes one security check, it might be caught by another before it gets embedded in your computer.
  • User training. You need to raise awareness among your teams so they understand how to detect phishing, malvertising, and social engineering attempts, which are the most common ways used by attackers.
  • Install patches often. Keep your security software up to date.

Reasons why Hard drives Fail

Excess Heat

All parts of computers are complicated and fragile. Hard drives, which store extensive information are some of an essential components. Also, the rate at which they become faulty is high. At least 80% of PC users experience difficulties following the failure of hard drives. One of the reasons they malfunction is due to excess heat that is subjected to a PC. Overheating of the machine due to excess power or damaged fun leads to the destruction of several computer fixtures including the drives. The outcome is the impossibility of enough data storage, slower machine processes which cause buffering and unexpected shutdown. In case a PC behaves peculiarly, damage to the computer drives due to excess heat could be one of the problems. Unfortunately, both external and internal hard drives cannot withstand the shock caused by too much heat hence overheated drives are bound to fail.

Water

Water is a threat to all electronic appliances. Though most computers have been modified and have covers that are waterproof, they still get damaged when the drives come in contact with water. Water has the same or worse effect on drives as heat. Though water can be dried off, the PC won’t work as usual. Sudden shutdowns will be the norm. The combination of water and electricity is catastrophic since excess electric charges turn to heat. One contrary fact about water on hard drives is the loss of irreplaceable data due to excess damage of read-write head of the drives. PC users should, therefore, keep computers away from water regardless of their quality.

Wear and Tear

All electronic appliances stop efficiently working after some time which is normal. Wear and tear is a common cause of hard drive failure. Unfortunately, there is no possible method of preventing it from reducing sluggishness working and other cons that are related to prolonged use. Use of computers for an extended period is a guarantee that both external and internal drives will malfunction. PCs are manufactured in such a way that they remain durable for a long time. However, computers cannot maintain durability forever since the drives’ heads get physically damaged. The only option of restoring proper working condition in case of wear and tear is replacing the drives with new ones. Nevertheless, one can slow down wear and tear by taking good care of a PC such as avoiding subjecting to shocks caused by heat, water, falls and several others.

Power Surge

A power surge is a disaster for all electronic appliances, and hard drives are some of the most affected. Power surges lead to the wrong amount of voltage used to run a PC. Hard drives run on a low voltage DC just like computers. In conjunction to that, the PC drives contain sensitive components which may be destroyed in case of power failures. The extent of hard drives destruction caused by power surges is disturbingly great. The PCB boards can be permanently destroyed hence the need for replacements. Hard drives that have been damaged due to power surge get corrupted fast, which can cause permanent loss of data. Also, the hard drives may not be able to withstand specified voltages.

Improper Handling

Careless handling of a machine causes hard drive malfunction. For instance, when a user accidentally drops a computer on a hard surface such as the floor, the shock caused by the impact may be too much for the drives to withstand. In fact, both internal and external drives begin to fail when the PC is dropped or excessively knocked. Storage of a computer also matters when it comes to the condition of discs. Laptops, computers and other PCs are sensitive and fragile hence the method of storage also determines the state of all the drives. Improper storing can cause damage which may not be noticed immediately but could lead to severe destruction over time.

Corrupted Files

Wrong shut down of computers is a guarantee of the emergence of corrupted files. When a user initiates an improper method of shutting down the system, running programs get corrupted hence corrupting the hard drives too. The outcome is total damage of essential PC systems therefore negatively affecting the drives especially the internal one. Also, some applications used by computer users may be faulty hence leading to destruction. Defective claims are from unknown sources. They may work for a while but interfere with the hard drives after some time. Corruption of files can be avoided by ensuring machine starts and shuts down properly not forgetting getting rid of incomplete applications.

How to Make Your Backup Data Look Like A Million Bucks

More than ever before, you got more data backup options. However, as much as this seems a perfect solution, you could find it difficult to choose the best way to back your data up. How do you identify the best backup for your needs and what procedures do you follow to ensure your data is kept securely? Even as much as cloud options are a great way to store your data, this does not mean you are completely secure from malicious attacks that might see you lose huge chunks of your useful data. Here are few ways to enhance the security of your backed up data.

Consider a disaster recovery option

Security is not always the only weapon when you want to store sensitive data. You also need to factor in cases that might occur that could lead to loss of your data. To avoid completely losing your data in the unlikely event someone invades your system and deletes some part of or the entire backup, you can always fall back to a recovery mechanism that will help you to get back your data. If you are using a third party platform to store your data, you need to inquire into the procedure that would help to restore your backups in the event of unauthorized deletion.

Add access rights to your backups

Your backups are not safe as long as you have allowed anyone who can penetrate into the system to access some parts of the data. One way to ensure unauthorized individuals do not temper with your data is to introduce access limitations so only those authorized to make changes to your files are able to access the server. The point is to make it difficult for someone with malicious intent to reach the backups, and this works most of the time as in the process of trying to force entry you will have received alerts notifying you of multiple failed attempts to access your backups.

How about having an offsite backup system

While storing data in the same building as your offices might make sense when you consider ease of access, it would also be ideal to have a copy of the data stored in an offsite system. This could save you the frustrations if something like fire consumes your backups in one location. However, many people will argue that this is an option that would increase expenses as you would be required to lease space, but if you consider the technologies available you would not even need to use a physical backup system.