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Archive for the ‘Data Back Ups’ tag

MacMedics Recommends LoJack For Laptops

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If you own an Apple MacBook or MacBook Pro we highly recommend LoJack for Laptops be installed on your computer. Also, LoJack can be installed on desktop Macintosh computers as well. Macs are magnets for thieves, so having them protected is a must! When planning for this thing, don’t forget about your backup. Yes computers can be replaced, but your valuable data cannot. If a crackhead looking for quick cash breaks into your place, they will most likely steal your computer and the backup drive that sits next to it. This is a very good reason to also have a “clone” back up hidden in your house, in your safe deposit box, or use an online back up service like Mozy or CrashPlan Pro.

Plus, there are documented stories of Mac users that have had their gear stolen, and used their on-line back up to track down the thief. While the thief is deleting the owns data off the computer he or she is most likely adding their own data. Thieves often don’t know how to work a Mac, so instead of creating a new account, they will just use the existing accounts on the computer. This is a good reason to have an unlocked “Guest” account on the computer. They will add their photos to iPhoto, use iTunes, and nobody can resist using Photo Booth. Also, with Apple Remote Desktop or Back To My Mac, you might be able to monitor your Mac remotely to learn where it is and who has it.

We have had a number of clients who have had their Apple laptops lost to theft this year. This upsets us, so we want to ensure we’re doing all we can to protect your property and your DATA! See our Blog post that lists the serial numbers of Macs and the area they were stolen from here.

We’ve chosen to use LoJack for Laptops for ALL of the MacBooks that are owned by MacMedics. It works well and once it’s installed it’s can’t be removed or detected by the thief who has the laptop.

LoJack for laptops provides theft recovery and remote delete services to protect your sensitive business data. If your laptop were to be lost to theft, you have the ability to track the thief via geo location or IP address reporting, and most likely have your equipment recovered. In situations where your laptop has sensitive data stored on it, you would also have the ability to erase your data remotely, “freeze” your computer, and even have a message displayed announcing the unit has been stolen.

If and when your Apple laptop is stolen, you activate the hidden LoJack software. Once your computer has been reported missing the LoJack team will work will law enforcement to recover your computer. Unlike most other recovery software, LoJack is not a DIY recovery.

It’s also very important to note, that your personal or business data is at a greater risk when it’s stored on a laptop. If your laptop is lost, stolen, or damaged, you could lose your data. It’s extra important that you have a tested and working back up of your data. If you need help setting up a back up for your MacBook, MacMedics has solutions starting at $89.

Contact MacMedics if you have any questions, need to purchase LoJack for Laptops, or need assistance with installing, configuring and testing your backup solution.

Learn more about LoJack for Laptops here:

LoJack for Laptops in the news: LoJack helped recover some computers that had been reported stolen from the Charles County Public School system. Both computers were recovered by using computer keystroke tracking was used to discover the identity of the alleged thief. Read more here.

Update 6/4/11: Since the Mac tracking software “Hidden” has been in the news recently, lots of Mac users have been researching laptop tracking software. LoJack offers some features that Hidden does not, one of them being that you can securely “erase” or “lockup” your computer with LoJack. LoJack does not make pictures available to you and I’m not sure if they even use them or not. This is one of the reasons that it might be wise to have two programs installed. One that you can monitor and LoJack to have professional recovery team do their work from the other side.

Here’s the link to the story that was in the news recently.

Sign up for LoJack for Laptops for Mac here:

Don’t Play Trick Or Treat With Your Mac’s Back Up!

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This post was updated 10/31/14

We just had full moon, and it seems like it brought a ton of new Data Recovery jobs into the MacMedics offices. Spooky!

Now that it’s Halloween, I offer you the perfect metaphor for your Mac’s (or iPhone’s) Back Up. Don’t play “Trick Or Treat” with your valuable data.

When we have clients show up at our Mac Lab with data we can’t recover it just breaks our hearts. We’ve got a great track record for Recovering AND Rescuing data for folks (Usually for just $399 w/ free 1TB Time Machine drive so you never lose your data again BTW), but there are cases we we can’t help with. We will refer these jobs off to Clean Room recovery firms, and often they can save your data in exchange for fees as high as $2500. But, not all data can be saved, and about 10% of the cases we refer, there’s not a positive result, and that data is gone forever.

As soon as you buy a new Mac, or get an old Mac’s hard drive repaired, you need to have a back up program running. On any Mac that is running Leopard (10.5) or Snow leopard (10.6), Lion (10.7), Mountain Lion (10.8), Mavericks (10.9), or Yosemite (10.10) use the built-in Time Machine! It’s very, VERY powerful, and has been used to save lots of our client’s data. Plus it’s the MOST POWERFUL feature that is BUILT IN to the Mac’s modern OS!

The important thing is to PLAN AHEAD. Your back up is not complete if it’s not:

1. Automatic (Use Time Machine and this point is covered)
2. Redundant (Double your back up with a clone of your data and this point is covered)
3. Off-Site (Take your double back up off-site or get Mozy and this point is covered)

See how easy it is to be 100% covered! Now think of how much better you’ll feel knowing this little project has been taken care of and that your back up has been certified! If you need help getting a back up in place, we can help. On-site, In-lab, or even Remote Desktop Support, we’re there, and we’ll help get your back up configured and tested!

While all of us at MacMedics are HUGE fans of Time Machine, it’s not 100% infallible. MacMedics recommends that you ALSO back up your hard drive via a “clone” use Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner, as that way you can “test” your back up to insure you have a good, bootable copy. With a “clone” back up AND a Time Machine back up, you’re covered for TWO types of back ups, and you’re DOUBLING your chances for a successful recovery.

This might also be a good time to enhance your back up plan by adding an off-site back up. MacMedics hosts our own in-house CrashPlan backup server for your important data! So, if you want to expand into a cloud backup, we can help!

We had a client in with a bad MacBook hard drive just a few days ago, and she was mostly backed up, but she was working a major project for her employer that had huge amount of Excel data in it. All she wanted was that one folder. Sadly we could not get it for her. If she had set up Mozy, even if she did not have a back up drive *a common problem for portable computers), her data would have been “automatically” backed up AND “off-site” thus completing two points of the golden triangle of data protection. Best of all, it would have been 100% free!

We have tons of posts on Time Machine and we even have a free White Paper on it If you’d like a copy, let us know. If you’re not using an automatic backup, your data is at risk!

Also, don’t forget that hard drives don’t last forever. Our rule of thumb for hard drive retirement is as follows. In Apple laptops the hard drive should be proactively replaced after 2 to 3 years years. In Apple desktops the hard drive should be proactive replaced after 3 years. You can find out more about this on our website

There’s one more thing I would like to mention here. iPhones and iPod touch models also need to be backed up. All you have to do is to sync with you Mac from time to time. People are starting to treat these portable Apple products as stand alone devices, and when you think about it, many people are generating data on their iPhones and iPods just like they do on a computer.

You’ve got photos, e-mails, text documents, bookmarks, files, contacts, calendars, and videos that all can be generated or sent to your mobile device. All you have to do is connect to iTunes, and it will back up your device. Apple also has iCloud, which offers a PAID service that will allow you backup your entire iOS device to the cloud. This is however not automatic, and it IS something you have to pay for. Photos in My Photo Stream are saved on the iCloud server for 30 days. To save or back up these photos, you must copy them from My Photo Stream to your Camera Roll on your iOS device. You can then back up your Camera Roll using iCloud or iTunes.

There are not too many ways to get mission critical data off a dead iPhone. We can often do it, but the data is all stored on the logic board of your iPhone or iPod touch. If it gets wet, gets dropped, or gets lost or stolen, then there goes your data. If we can’t get your logic board to fire up, then we don’t have access to your data.

Be sure to read “The Nine Things We Wish We Did Before Our House Burned Down“. We have the list line by line and a link to the original post, which is a “MUST READ” for anyone that has a house OR a computer