As we use our computers or laptops from day to day, it's easy to become complacent with our security. Technology is an amazing power when its working. When something goes wrong, however, then your whole world gets turned upside down. "If only I would have backed up my ____ files", is usually the first thing that runs through most people's minds. What would happen if 15 seconds from now your hard drive went into total meltdown?
Most people don't realize this, but hard drives are a consumable item. That means that they wear out after a certain number of hours! A lot of hours, of course. I think the average rating is around 100,000 hours mean time. That's about 11 years! Those are healthy ratings, but often times they fail long before that. The point is, don't assume that your data is perfectly safe. If you have critical data on your computer, you should get it moved (or at least copied) to an external storage media such as a USB drive. Offline options are great too. For example, xdrive.com offers 5 GB of free storage of your data files. All you need to do is sign up for an AOL screen name. You don't have to have any of the AOL junk including their internet service to use xdrive. Just a screen name so that you can log into the service. For $9.95 a month you can store 50 GB of stuff. Using an offline solution will give you another way to access your files in case you are traveling somewhere and forgot your thumb drive. You can simply log into xdrive from anywhere with an internet connection, such as an internet cafe. When I was in China, I used the internet cafes nearly every day.
So how about avoiding down time on your computer? I recommend Deep Freeze Standard. With Deep Freeze, you never have to worry about getting viruses, spyware, driver issues, and all the other horse crap that goes with the joys of everyday computer use. Deep Freeze runs in the background on a parallel network on your computer. The original configuration is never touched in any way, no matter what you do. Surf the internet & pick up a virus? Accidentally deleted a system file, or changed a driver setting? No problem, just reboot your computer and everything is exactly the way it was. You never have to worry about dealing with anti-virus, anti-spyware and all that other security software. No need to worry about someone else using your computer and screwing it up with spyware infected games. If you want to add new software, you can try it out first by installing it. If it hoses your system, simply reboot. Problem solved. If everything works ok, no meltdowns, etc, you can do a permanent install by pausing Deep Freeze and installing the application permanently. Then re-activate Deep Freeze to keep everything protected. Deep Freeze will even work across multiple drives & partitions if desired.
Having worked in an educational environment for the past 7 years, I've used a number of solutions to keep the number of problems to a minimum. I've used other solutions such as Clean Slate which also works quite well. Personally, I have found Deep Freeze to be easier to manage, plus Deep Freeze only runs around $45. This is much less than you would shell out for Anti-Virus suites, Firewalls, and the myriad of other protection softwares out there. You can simply keep all your headaches away with one simple solution.
I'm sure that you can easily think back at all the wasted hours that you had to spend at one time or another because some application or device stopped working. Or because the computer became extremely slow and started locking up all the time. Maybe you had to have it serviced and paid over $100 to have all the spyware garbage cleaned off. Between time and money alone, this solution should be a no-brainer.
If your hard drive fails completely, all you have to do is get a new computer or have the hard drive replaced with a new Windows install. Since all your data is on a separate media, all you have to do is reinstall the applications that you use including Deep Freeze. You're instantly back in business. Your "C" drive should never require anything more than these.
Put these solutions into action now and you will have much greater peace of mind and lots more time do invest into your internet business and family!