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Combining Data Backup with Security Software

Posted on May 10, 2011
What is the best method to secure and protect your computer and important data against both viruses and hardware failure? Do you need to store the backup both online and offline? What do you do if malware damages your files and you lose critical data?

Tags: data backup and security
Backing up your whole computer is an essential part of securing and protecting important data. With a regular backup, end-users do not need to spend time reinstalling the operating system, installing third-party programs and updating Windows in case of a catastrophic failure. Also, a regular backup can help restore your computer to a previous state in just a few minutes.

Malware or viruses can cause damage to the operating system and other applications. Some malware can alter or delete important files such as documents, pictures, songs and video files. If data in the computer is backed up, you can simply restore these files or the whole system without needing to reinstall software, and there is no need to worry about losing important data.

If a computer malfunctions due to hardware failure or a damaged and buggy software driver, a system backup from online or offline storage makes it much easier to get your computer working again without starting from scratch or losing important documents, media files and stored credentials.

For these reasons, computer security software and backup solutions should be used hand-in-hand. To make this easier, many software developers offer package deals that contain tools that handle both of these needs.

Antivirus, Malware and Hacker Protection

Antivirus and firewall products will protect your computer and data from virus infections, but they will not secure your computer from data loss caused by a malware infection or hardware failure. In some instances, you may not even be able to use your computer due to a malware infection or malfunction in the hardware. If this happens, security software alone will not be able to retrieve or restore the damaged or corrupted files. Without a backup, the only solution to such an unfortunate situation is to reinstall the operating system and start all over again.

Windows Backup Utility

Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 include a utility that lets users create a backup. However, this utility does not provide virus protection. Also, the backup utility in Windows does not allow the storing of backups in an online secure storage location—only offline storage options, such as a second hard drive or removable media, are available. If the external storage is damaged as well, the stored backup obviously cannot be used.

Effective Solution: Data Backup and Security

The good news is that there is an effective solution to receive full protection from malware and viruses and, at the same time, get additional security for preventing data loss. This solution is to use security products that come bundled with online and offline data backup features.

Antivirus and Data Backup Solutions

Security software vendors understand the importance of having a data or computer backup. Most Internet security suite software now includes some means of data backup. Some vendors provide a method of backing up through secure online storage on the security vendor's server in addition to storing the backup files on an external or network drive. Other security software vendors only offer offline backup.

With a data or system backup option included with security software, the computer is protected in many ways:

·    Protection from viruses or malware - The antivirus program will prevent the computer from virus infections.
·    Rescue the computer from malware infection - In the event a computer is highly infected, a rescue CD is provided by many antivirus programs to remove the malware before booting to Windows.
·    Secure Backup - Security products that provide a secure backup of files or the whole computer save you a lot of time restoring, when needed. A secure backup means the files or data are stored in online storage that only the customer has access to because it is password protected or encrypted.
·    Restore the backup, if the system is damaged - If malware has severely damaged a computer to the point that an antivirus program or rescue CD can't fix the problems, a system restore from the current backup can be made.

With complete protection by security vendors who provide virus protection and backup utilities, you can make a good system backup in minutes to guard against potential data loss. Examples of security software that provide data backup via online, offline or both methods are Acronis Backup and Security 2010, Kaspersky PURE, Norton 360, BitDefender Total Security 2011 and ZoneAlarm Extreme Security suite.

Together, security software and backup utilities work to offer full protection for your entire system. While security software serves as a front-line defense to make sure your data doesn't get infected in the first place, backup solutions help give you peace of mind that all is not lost just in case a threat does manage to get through—or if some other type of problem causes your system to fail.


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