How to Upgrade or Affordably Replace Your Old PC

If you’re looking to upgrade or replace your computer, take the same approach as a physician; that is, diagnosis then treatment.      To do this:

   •     Mac owners: Apple Menu > About this Mac
   •     PC owners: Open Start Menu and enter “cmd” in the box.           At the command prompt, run: systeminfo.exe

If you see dates from before the Obama presidency, it’s time for a new computer. Or perhaps your computer isn’t that old but is sluggish and has frustrating freeze tendencies. Programs like PC Pitstop will identify the exact causes of your computer lag.

Whatever the case may be, it’s important to understand your options as you research upgrades and replacements.

 

Upgrade to a SSD

Hard disk drives (HDDs) date back to the early days of computer history. They are a few inches of metal that store computer data and access it each time a computer powers on. Solid state drives (SSDs) do the exact same thing except they retain data without power. SSDs provide superior computer performance compared to their traditional counterparts. While they lack for storage space if you need more than 1 TB, SSDs outperform HHDs when it comes to boot-up times and speed. CNET provides a “best of” list that ranges from $20 to $300, which is competitive with average HDD prices (unlike years past).

For Mac owners, this guide explains how to prep the SSD with an automatic configuration and how to remove your old hard drive with relatively simple steps. Lastly, you install the SSD with four Torx screws (available at local hardware store). Total cost: ~$120

CNET provides a similar explanation for PC owners. Set up the SSD with cloning software and a USB-to-SATA adapter and install the drive with a small screwdriver.

Free up hard drive space

Perhaps you don’t need to bite the bullet on a new hard drive. There are multiple ways to clear space for improved processing speed.

Programs such as CleanMyMac and CleanMyPC cost about $40 and will complete space-saving tasks such as:

•     Clear duplicate and temporary files
•     Clear unnecessary language files
•     Uninstall unused applications
•     Identify and remove big attachments stored in Mail
•     Analyze disk space

It should be noted that these tasks can be performed manually. PC owners can also disable features such as hibernation and system restore.

Buy additional memory (RAM)

Adding additional random-access memory (RAM) to your computer might speed it up, might being the important word. A healthy amount of RAM (4 GB or 8 GB) eliminates the need for program swapping, which essentially means computer multi-tasking. Check your current RAM before researching an upgrade. Sites like Lifehacker, Tom’s Hardware and ZDNet have concluded that 4 GB is ample for average users and 8 GB suffices for most technical needs. However, if you run more than a couple of programs simultaneously and cannot switch between them swiftly, a RAM upgrade is for you. You should also look into RAM if you work with a memory-eating program like Adobe Photoshop or engage in tab warfare during your Chrome or Firefox sessions.

Apple provides hearty support documents on how to install memory and the process is very similar on PCs. You cannot damage the RAM unit by seating it improperly so it should be a stress-free installation. Avoid any “Mac RAM” products as there is no such thing. As long as the RAM matches the specifications for your system, it will function properly.

Affordable upgrades

Just like a car, sometimes it behooves you to buy new rather than pump money into the old horse. Desktops, laptops and tablets have transformed computer ownership standards. Data group GWI found the average consumer owns at least three “smart” devices. Consider the upgrades below that meet or surpass your old desktop’s computing power and convenience (for about $130 to $300).

Inspiron
The Dell Inspiron 3000 series laptop starts at $200. These ultra portable 11-inch to 15-inch laptops are lightweight and offer options such as touch displays to meet the needs of home and home office.

Google Chromebook
The 11-inch to 15-inch Google Chromebook laptops range from $150 to $300 and are cheaper on the used market. They cost a fraction of a MacBook Pro because they are Wi-Fi warriors. They’re not meant to run programs and have little memory and storage but can be used wherever Internet access is available. It may seem like a leap to give up on Microsoft Office Suite or your trusty solitaire game, but Google Docs and Google Drive have created an online ecosystem for file storage and word processing that is much more intuitive. Not to mention you can play solitaire without leaving your Google SERPs.

Intel Compute Stick
While most critics considered Intel’s first Compute Stick a flop, Engadget deemed the second iteration, “something you’d actually want to use.” And for good reason, the $130 stick with Windows 10 plugs directly into an HDTV or monitor via an HDMI port. Two USB ports are provided for mouse and keyboard hookups. And the pocket-sized stick comes with 32 GB of internal storage. The stick still requires an AC adapter for power but remains a cost-efficient option due to the capability vs. price.

LifeHacker
The $300 DIY PC. If you’re looking for a challenge and like working with your hands, building your own PC is entirely possible. LifeHacker lists out a complete system courtesy of PCPartPicker. You can get everything you need for $333.31. Consider that the order consists of only seven parts and it becomes even less daunting. You’ll need a case, motherboard, processor, memory (RAM), storage, graphics card and a power supply. Complete buying and installation guides are easily found online.

There you have it. Say goodbye to that old computer. Find the option that appeals to you most and do some additional research. It can be rewarding to upgrade the computer with a little handy work, especially if you have children to do it with. Or it might be wise to buy new and avoid any potential headaches. Lastly, before you toss anything out, remember to protect your files and data by using Mozy’s online backup.

7 Ways of Losing Your Files and 1 Way to Avoid Losing Your Mind Over It

Files are never really lost, not in the sense of being misplaced. If you save a file in the wrong place and have trouble finding it, that problem is easily solved by a disk search. It’s the other ways of losing files that are harder to resolve:

1. Losing your device

Do you work on a laptop? Leave it behind in a coffee shop or cab when you’re in a rush and you haven’t lost just one file; you’ve lost all of them. Worse, if your data is unencrypted and your files contain sensitive information, your accounts and identity are vulnerable to theft.

2. Losing your data

Disk problems don’t start with a full-on crash. There can be small problems that result in data corruption. This may change the data of a file or make it unreadable. You can also corrupt files if an application doesn’t shut down properly.

3. Losing your disk drive

Hard drives don’t last forever. They may provide digital storage, but they operate mechanically, and mechanical devices wear out. Drives’ lifespans vary depending on the manufacturer, but three years is typical.

4. Losing control

All it takes is one misplaced click to load malware onto your computer. Once you’ve done that, you’re no longer in control. Your data can be copied to a remote server and sold to criminals. One kind of malware, called ransomware, holds your files hostage by encrypting them with a secret key. Unless you pay up to get the decryption key, you’re unable to read your own data.

5. Losing power

Electrical outages and natural disasters that mean your computer doesn’t shutdown properly can create problems, even keeping your computer from booting up once the power comes back on. It doesn’t take a widespread regional outage to cause problems; a fire at home can destroy your computer, your hard drive, and all of your backup files.

6. Losing track of what you’re doing

Oops! You just deleted the wrong file. Hopefully, you have a recent backup, you know where it is, you can get to it easily, and you know how to restore it!

7. Losing your grip

Oops again! You dropped your computer. Or you spilled your coffee. Either way, the internal components may not survive the incident.

How not to lose your mind

Making sure you have backups of your data isn’t enough to protect you from all of these kinds of file loss. Backups don’t keep others from reading your files if your device is lost, stolen, or hacked. And sometimes you lose your backups, or at least, don’t know how to find them quickly. Backups stored near your computer are vulnerable to loss or damage along with the PC, but if your backups are at home and you need a file while you’re traveling, knowing where the backup is doesn’t help you.

Cloud data protection from Mozy by Dell is a better solution. All of your data is backed up automatically. And your files are accessible from anywhere and any device, so you’ll always have access wherever you are and whatever device you’re working on. Enterprise-grade encryption makes sure that access is limited to you. And Mozy’s data centers are protected in every way possible, both physically and electronically. You’ll never lose your mind over lost data again.

Top Five Tech Gadgets for 2017…and Why I Want Them

2017 is here, and with the new year comes a new set of must-have tech gadgets that will make my life easier—or at least a lot more fun. Here’s a look at five of the most innovative and intriguing, and why I want them all.

Snapchat Spectacles

Sure, I’m just jumping on the bandwagon here, but why not—it’s nice to finally see a smart glass option that doesn’t make users look like “glassholes.” The Spectacles nail retro without feeling dated and solve the problem of “secret recording” with a light-up white circle that lets everyone around know that you’re taking video. Better still, they make it easy to send Snaps and give Snap recipients the ability to tilt the video for maximum effect. Bottom line? I already Snap. This makes it even easier.

Price: $129. Availability: Currently random

AirPods

Yeah, I tossed Apple for Android a few years ago, but it’s tempting to re-up the iPhone thanks to AirPods. The promise? No cords, 24-hour battery life and the pods are supposed to automatically sync with all my Apple devices and turn on whenever they’re in my ears. Plus, there’s voice recognition and crystal-clear sound. If it’s true it’s magic and I’m on board.

Price: $159. Availability: Apple says 100+ countries starting December 2016

SensorWake

Released near the end of 2016, the SensorWake is a clock that wakes you up using smell instead of noise. Current options include toast, mint, coffee, chocolate and freshly-cut grass to name a few, which each last for 30 “awakenings.” It’s probably not the best idea if you’ve got a must-be-there-meeting at 8 a.m., but if you’d like to skip sleeping the day away and pass on the beeping alarm clock—hey, those Spectacles aren’t going to take Snaps themselves, people!—the SensorWake sounds like a solid plan.

Price: $131.95 for clock and 6 scents. Availability: Online

Amazon Echo Dot

Amazon’s second-generation voice-controlled helper device, the Echo Dot is designed to make your life easier. Seven far-field microphones let it hear you even in a noisy room and with a few simple commands you can order pizza, call an Uber, play music or get the weather. Plus, it retails for less than $50 on Amazon and you don’t need an Echo to make the Dot work. Sounds like a fantastic time waster info hub.

Price: $49.99. Availability: Amazon

YOUMO

Want to play with the coolest tech gadgets? You need power, and the Kickstarter-funded YOUMO might just do the trick. The idea here is that you pick different power “modules,” which can be linked together to create a kind of ideal electric Frankenstein to power your tech environment. From standard power outlets to USB connections, wireless charging, LAN modules, speakers and even nightlights, there’s huge potential here. It’s not on the market yet, but all indications from Kickstarter and the company’s webpage are for a quick 2017 start.

Price: Not set. Availability: Soon

Want the best tech gadgets for 2017? You can’t go wrong with these five standouts.

Mozy’s Most Popular Blog Posts and Infographics from 2016

As the year comes to a close, we thought it would be fun to revisit what was most popular on the Mozy blog in 2016. Check out which blog posts and infographics our readers liked most from what we published this year.

When Old Tech Becomes New Tech

We are a society that loves technology. Most of us can’t seem to get enough of the latest and greatest. The rapid advance in technology is causing a glut in tech devices such as computers, smartphones and game systems. That means outdated tech devices are ending up in the landfill. Unfortunately, a lot of that e-waste could have been recycled. Read more. (Also, be sure to check out our infographic about e-waste.)

10 Great But Inaccurate Quotes From Technology (infographic)

We’ve all said something at one time or another that we regret saying. Even the brightest minds have said things they wish they hadn’t said. That’s especially true when the statement was bold and sure…except that it never came to pass. Check out these great but inaccurate quotes from brilliant technologists from the 20th and 21st centuries. View infographic.

Dell + Mozy Have a Lot in Common with Greatness!

How could you have missed the news about the greatest tech deal of this century—perhaps of any century? The merger of Dell and EMC—owner of Mozy—brought together two tech giants. It was the best joining the best. As our writer described it, it’s like Batman and Robin. Han and Chewy. Milk and cookies (preferably chocolate chip). You just can’t have one without the other. Read more.

Most Prolific Hackers (infographic)

Make no mistake about it: 2016 was one of the biggest years for hackers. Ransomware in particular was rampant (2+ billion files were leaked this year). This infographic describes some of the most infamous hacks from years past. Some of these unsavory characters may look harmless, but their unauthorized access to information caused serious headaches for consumers, government agencies and businesses. View infographic.

Make Digital Backups of Your Precious Family Photos

Photos bring back so many wonderful memories from the past. The truth is, some of our best moments in our personal history are captured through photography. And today’s smartphones make it so easy to capture those moments. Are you backing them up and protecting them? You should be because you’re capturing moments for future generations to enjoy. Read more.

50 Things We Don’t Do Anymore Due to Technology (infographic)

Unlike everything else in our list of posts and infographics published in 2016, this infographic was published three years ago but continues to be one of our most popular. We thought it would be fun to once again consider many of the things we no longer do anymore because of technological advancements. By the way, when was the last time you called the theatre to get movie times? View infographic.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our revisit to our most popular blog posts and infographics. We also hope that you have a wonderful holiday and a very happy New Year. Thank you for backing up with Mozy! We appreciate your business.

Why Your Business Needs to Back Up Its Data

Ever try to turn on your computer and nothing happens?

Imagine if this was the only computer in your entire business. Years worth of information could be gone in an instant. Word documents that detail business processes are no longer. Sales number spreadsheets and spending are gone.

Problems like these can cripple a business. In today’s data-dependent world, business files are the lifeblood of companies both large and small. That’s why it’s critical that you back up your business data before disaster strikes.

Check out the following to learn more about the common causes of data loss and how to prevent it.

Data loss is possible

The scenario described above is more common than you think. But it’s not always on a large scale. Sometimes, a single file is affected. But depending on the file’s contents, the problem could still have a large impact.

The most common reasons for data loss include:

•     Hardware or system failure
•     Viruses and malware (such as ransomware)
•     Human error
•     Software corruption
•     Natural disasters

 

Hardware or system failure

Computers are fickle. They get old and tired. It’s not unusual for them to stop working for no reason. No matter how well you take care of your devices, things break. It’s a fact of life. Investing in a cloud-based backup solution allows you to save and restore critical information easily. Don’t lose years worth—or even a day’s worth!—of data due to a breakdown.

Viruses and malware

New viruses and malicious programs appear daily. Sometimes they take the guise of legitimate programs or files you need to run your business. No security program catches everything. If these files aren’t quickly identified, they can wreak havoc on your system and infect other files, creating mountains of useless data or in the case of ransomware, data that’s being held for ransom in exchange for a special decryption key that might not even unlock your data. Backing up your data will allow you to revert back to an earlier, working file version.

Human error

People are fallible. Files get discarded that should be saved, or don’t get saved at all. Don’t let your business fall prey to an overly tired employee who inadvertently deletes the latest sales report.

Software corruption

Just like there’s no perfect solution to preventing system failures, software corruption is a fact of digital life. Sometimes a system update creates an issue. Or the software is used so much that it doesn’t run properly when opened the next time. Backing up information to the cloud allows you to easily open files on another device.

Natural disasters

Fires and floods can ruin machines and destroy digital files. Storing data in the cloud protects your sales figures, proprietary information and other important business files from burning up or being damaged by water. One of these disasters can ruin all of your machines at once, so backing up your data locally doesn’t protect you if all of your devices are destroyed.

Why cloud backup?

Backing up business data to the cloud protects you from a device failure or a total loss. Using an easy-to-use and cost-effective solution like Mozy automatically backs up files, so there’s no need to remember to perform a periodic backup. With options to restore to any device or computer, these solutions make it easy to restore data anywhere, anytime. Additional features such as file sync and mobile access can actually increase productivity with anytime, anywhere access to your important files.

Keeping data secure should be a top business priority. Don’t risk your investment when you can easily protect your business from loss for just a few dollars a month. Invest in a cloud-based backup solution for your company today.

Don’t Fear Ransomware!

Did you hear about the Bay Area light-rail system that was hit by ransomware a couple of weeks ago? You can read about it on The Core, Mozy’s parent company’s blog.

Some ransomware facts

Although it’s true that ransomware sounds scary, you shouldn’t fear it. There are a few things we know about this type of malware. Ransomware:
   •     Is prevalent (there were more than 431 million malware          variants added in 2015)
   •     Continues to grow more sophisticated (some ransomware          uses unbreakable encryption)
   •     Usually gains access through a network’s weakest link (for          example, a user’s email or social networking site)
   •     Has cost businesses millions of dollars this year (US$209          million just in Q1 2016)

Knowing these facts helps us to understand the very real nature of the threat of ransomware to today’s businesses.

It can’t happen to my business…right?

According to the Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), data protection—which includes data backup—is critical for a number of reasons. Of the organizations surveyed by the GDPI:
   •     52% suffered unplanned system downtime in the last 12 months
   •     29% suffered data loss
   •     36% reported internal or external security breaches (including ransomware)
   •     Hardware failure is still the number one cause of data loss and/or system downtime

Clearly, a ransomware disaster is more common than most people think. It can happen to your business!

Ransomware isn’t going away

As already mentioned, businesses have already forked over more than US$200 million just in the first quarter of this year. According to the FBI, ransomware is on course to become a US$1+ billion industry by the end of 2016. There have been 2+ billion records leaked in 2016 as a result of cybercrimes.

Although ransomware isn’t going away, it’s important to remember this: a ransomware disaster is preventable!

So, what can you do?

Like most criminals, cybercriminals are opportunists who are looking for the easiest targets. One of the best things a business can do is no be an easy target! For starters, be sure you can answer “yes” to the following questions:
   •     Are your employees aware of the risks of unsolicited emails?
   •     Are your firewalls and mail filters always up to date?
   •     Are you using expired antivirus software?
   •     Are you syncing data from endpoints up to cloud-based file sync share systems?

But there’s more to be done in order to prevent a ransomware disaster.

Backup and restore

The most reliable form of protection organizations can leverage to safeguard their data is backup. But simple backup is not enough to ensure that your files are protected from ransomware. It’s important to note that common backup solutions such as a USB drive or network-attached storage device (NAS) are not reliable methods for backing up and safeguarding your data. Ransomware typically spreads throughout an organization’s entire file system, including an attached drive or network share, encrypting both production data and backup data.

It’s also important to note that backup off site (away from your primary site) is critical. Mozy by Dell backs up your important endpoint files and server data to the Dell EMC cloud to ensure that it cannot be compromised by ransomware. When a malware infection is involved, restoration of an endpoint or server from a backup works best when you can easily select a moment in time from where to restore. With Mozy cloud backup, once you have identified the point of infection and the time the malware was introduced to the machine, the Mozy solution lets you restore all of the files for the given user from the point in time just before the malware was introduced.

For more information on how you can prevent a ransomware disaster with endpoint data protection, visit Mozy by Dell.

The Importance of Personal Data Backup

For years we created photo albums and mixtapes of important photos and music. Family memories were recorded on videotapes and later burned on DVDs. Important paperwork was filed into folders and moved into boxes when it became too cumbersome.

As we moved from an analog world to a digital world, photos were stored on cards and music burned on CD. Movies stayed on DVDs, and paperwork was filed in PDF format on the family computer.

But today, even these digital formats have limitations. We have to keep track of camera cards, DVDs and CDs. Files can become corrupted or lost when the family computer is replaced with a laptop or tablet.

Not only do we have to keep track of multiple storage mediums, but the cellphone has become both the camera and video recorder. We have files strewn across multiple devices without a system to get those things back if the devices they’re stored on become lost or damaged.

That’s why it’s critical to have one system that seamlessly stores all your files to be backed up automatically and restored at the push of the button.

Keeping memories safe

At one point, cameras were only available to the wealthy. Photographers took family portraits that hung on their walls and decorated their mantels. As technology made cameras available to everyone, anyone could become a photographer.

These devices required film to be developed on paper, and photos were collected into albums and boxes.

As digital cameras rose in popularity, their prices dropped, once again putting photography into the hands of the masses.

Today, the smartphone is quickly replacing the digital camera. Devices like the iPhone and Pixel allow low-light photography and high quality on a small, portable object.

Another device, the video recorder, has also been replaced by the smartphone. Combining still photography and motion video in one application allows anyone to create home movies.

The problem with these devices is the same as always: Technology advances, devices become obsolete. Or even worse, they break and all our memories are lost along with them. But there’s a better solution. Using a cloud-based backup system allows you to save and restore files from all your devices in one place. And because it’s automatic, there’s nothing to remember. Now you can easily access all of your memories at the push of the button.

Securing important documents

Paperwork isn’t usually stored on paper anymore. In the past, paperwork was delivered and signed in person. Later, papers were relegated to boxes or cabinets where they would remain if ever needed again. This method has its limitations.

Files can be destroyed by fire, flood or damaged from years of sitting in a musty cellar or attic.

Technology now allows us to create documents and sign them without being present. This eliminates the need for paper entirely, allowing us to store mountains of paperwork without wasting space. But digital documents also have limitations. They can become corrupted or infected with a virus or malware (such as ransomware), rendering them unreadable. Storage disks can get damaged or hard drives get destroyed. This is why backing up important documents is critical for different reasons than one would protect their memories.

A digital world needs world-class data protection

Old-fashioned data protection doesn’t work for the modern world. That’s why it’s important to invest in a backup solution that works for all your devices. Don’t depend on hard drives and CDs and DVDs and camera cards to keep you protected. Mozy by Dell is a one-stop solution that works seamlessly for all of your needs, allowing backups and restoration at the push of a button. Learn more at Mozy.com.

3 Ways Technology Can Help Your Last-minute Christmas Shopping

It seems like all of the holidays are bunched together into one stressful moment once Labor Day ends. Halloween demands candy and costumes, Thanksgiving requires flight plans and family dinners, and Christmas is a battle royal at shopping malls and fashion outlets. With all of the mayhem building up, how could anyone possibly have any time to enjoy themselves, let alone spend time with family on Christmas Eve?

This is where technology can make a huge difference! This year, if you feel like kicking back and eating sugar cookies with Old Saint Nick until the sun comes up, then here are a few easy ways that your tech gadgets can make your last-minute Christmas shopping a lot less hectic.

Buy gifts online

Of course there will be some gifts you’ll have to go into Macy’s to buy, but if there are things on the Christmas list that can be bought from anywhere (tools, electronics, stuffed animals, skin care products, etc.), then do it online. You can use your tablet or smartphone to visit sites like Amazon, Etsy or Jet.com to make your last-minute shopping rounds. Each site is easy to use, and you can find exactly what you’re looking for, all while choosing a shipping option that fits your schedule. Keep in mind, many of your favorite retail stores most likely have apps with coupons to offer, so feel free to shop on the sofa while everyone else runs to Walgreens at 2:00 a.m. If you’re really pressed for time, you can always print out the shipping details and stuff it into a card

Storyboard your ideas

The worst thing about Christmas shopping is that it’s so hard to find the right gifts for your family and friends. When time is of the essence, it’s always a huge plus to create a layout of what kinds of gifts you should buy. Using an app like Pinterest or Instagram is a great way to build a collage of possible gift ideas based upon what you think your Aunt Ginger would like. You can “pin” or “like” awesome photos that give you some inspiration when you’re sprinting from aisle to aisle. Having an idea of what you should buy is always a much better plan than going in blind, and you’ll find that it saves you some extra time to wrap gifts when you get home.

Don’t go overboard

One of the biggest mistakes a last-minute shopper makes is that they tend to overspend on account of their lazy guilt. It’s way too easy to start dropping cash on your relatives when you’re both unsure about what to buy and pressured by the ticking of the clock, so the best way to combat the anxiety is to set a limit for your spending. You can download your bank’s mobile app to manage your balances on checking accounts or credit cards on the go, making sure that you’re still able to afford drinks on New Year’s Eve. If you see your funds dipping drastically low in your checking account, you can easily transfer money from your savings instantly, giving you enough cushion to splurge on both sweaters when you can’t remember the color your dad asked for.

Championship Data Protection Year after Year after Year

Because it was so exciting to watch, it seems like only yesterday that after more than a century the Cubs finally won the World Series. Game 7 of the 2016 World Series between the Chicago Cubs and the Cleveland Indians was a battle—one requiring an extra inning!—to the end. On November 2 the Cubs finally ended a 108-year World Series championship drought.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. The obvious one might be “Never give up”; however, there is something more important to remember when it comes to protecting your data. It’s this: Just because your data has always been safe and you’ve never had a data breach or lost your data as a result of hardware or software failure doesn’t mean it won’t happen. Data loss is going to happen, it’s just a matter of when.

Consider that the Cubs played in the 1906, 1907 and 1908 World Series, becoming the first major league team play in three consecutive World Series. The Cubs won back-to-back World Series championships in 1907 and 1908, becoming the first team to win it twice (they lost the Series in 1906 to the Chicago White Sox). If you were alive back then, you might have expected the Cubs to play in the 1909 World Series. And even if they didn’t, you certainly would have expected them to play in a World Series before 2016! But it didn’t happen that way; their lucky streak didn’t last. The Cubs never played in another World Series—not until 1945, and they lost.

Again, just because your data protection strategy has never been challenged, consider yourself lucky. The streak won’t last. Eventually, your organization will lose critical business data. The Global Data Protection Index found that of those organizations surveyed, 29% suffered data loss. There is no comfort in that percentage, not when you count on critical business data to keep your business up and running and profitable. Here’s another percentage that even a streak of good luck won’t change: a whopping 36% of organizations reported internal or external security breaches (think ransomware) or hardware failure. If you think your hardware is fail-proof, think again. The number one cause of data loss and/or system downtime is hardware failure, according to the GDPI.

So what can you do to protect your data? Key to your data protection strategy should be a solid backup plan. Mozy by Dell offers complete data protection for SMBs and next-generation endpoint protection for the enterprise. MozyPro lets you schedule backups to run daily, weekly or monthly. It’s automatic and affordable backup that includes file sync and mobile access. With Mozy Sync, you simply place a file in your local Mozy Sync folder, and it’s immediately available from any computer, smartphone and tablet that you regularly use. The Mozy mobile app for iOS and Android devices gives your smartphone or tablet access to your Mozy Sync folder wherever you are, and whenever you need it. It works hand in hand with Mozy cloud backup, making all of your files safe and available.

MozyEnterprise seamlessly protects endpoints and remote offices, helps increase workforce productivity with file sync and mobile access, and keeps IT in control of corporate data. This cloud backup solution for desktops, laptops and small servers gives you more complete data protection for users on any network, and the powerful administrative console lets you manage it all from anywhere. And should your organization be hit by malware or other cyberthreat—including ransomware—Mozy allows you to restore files from any point in time prior to the attack, meaning your files are accessible when you need them most.

To be sure, no data protection solution can cause your favorite team to win a World Series, but it will ensure that you can champion a winning data protection strategy year after year after year. Don’t let your business wait a century to discover that.

I can hardly wait for the 2017 World Series!

A Technological Twist on the First Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 21, 1621 — Governor William Bradford wakes up on a cold, crisp morning in Plymouth to the sound of a text message. It’s from Tisquantum, one of the Wampanoag who helped him harvest corn yesterday. “Are you up?” it reads. Bradford slides out of bed and his feet hit the freezing dirt floor. I’ll respond later, he thinks.

Bradford changes into his linen shirt, stockings, and cloak. The sun is slowly starting to rise as he boils water for tea and listens to the news. His desktop is streaming KJBC, or King James Broadcasting Corporation. Cornelis Drebbel has just launched his submarine. Bradford laughs as the leather-wrapped underwater boat chugs along the Thames. No one’s going to have any use for that ship, he thinks. He opens up the shared “Treaty” document on Google Drive. Ousamequin Yellow Feather— aka Chief Massasoit—made several comments. John Carver countered nearly every single one of them, and in many instances, made the language even stronger.

Bradford adds a comment: “This is a treaty between two nations, Wampanoag and England. We need to protect each other from harm and violence, not create it. Please, let’s try to live together peacefully.”

He presses “Enter” and immediately his cell phone rings. It’s Carver.

“Good morning,” Bradford says.

“What do you think you’re doing?” Carver demands. “Why are you trying to wreak havoc on these people? Let’s not make things more tense than they already are. This is our land now, Bradford. Let’s just get this meal thing over with.”

Bradford sighs and hangs up and walks outside to see his wife, Dorothy, preparing the table with a massive spread.

“Is this really going to fill 113 people?” Bradford asks.

“I’m doing the best I can,” Dorothy says. “This article I read on Henrietta Maria Living says that when you throw big dinners like this, it’s rare that every single person is going to be eating at the same time. Usually people tend to dine in shifts.”

“If you say so. Have you seen Tisquantum?”

“He just went to join the rest of the Wampanoag to hunt for deer.”

“Sounds delicious.”

“Indeed, his grandmother just texted me an amazing venison seasoning recipe.”

“Can’t wait. I loved that photo you posted of you two picking berries.”

“Really? How come you didn’t ‘like’ it then?”

“Sorry, I’ve been too busy for social media. I’m just trying to negotiate this Treaty thing.”

Several hours later, dinner is nearly ready. The Pilgrims pile their plates with pumpkin, squash, fruits, clams, and fowl stuffed with herbs and onion. Chief Massasoit and his warriors are carrying five deer—all cooked, seasoned, and read to eat.

“We’re starving. Is there going to be enough food for all of us?” Massasoit asks.

“I made forty batches of that chestnut casserole you helped me harvest.”

“But there’s over a hundred of us!”

“In that case, I’ll place an order on that catering app.”