Backing Up Your Desktop – What if it is now infected?
I know that this topic has come up before, by myself, John, and Dave at CCS Retail Systems. But I must bring this up again. I recently took a call from a customer who works with many different customers from many different countries. She called me in a panic, stating that her anti-virus software is warning her that there are infected files on her system, and the list keeps stacking up.
At first I thought this was the typical "Fake Anti-Virus" malware complaining that "Your PC is Infected" and to pay to remove the problem. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. She was infected with one of the most destructive virus/malware I have seen in a while. Although her anti-virus did find the infection, this malware is fairly new and there is no "fix/removal tool" out for it yet. I tried many different low level tools and was able to find the infection. Removing it was nearly impossible because it infects just about every file on your system.
Here is where backing up comes into the picture. Because of its nature and how deeply rooted the infection was, it was decided that the best course of action was to re-install Windows XP. I was afraid of trying to save any files because if they were infected, the whole cycle would have to start over again. Since no backup was performed, there was no way to be sure that any files saved were safe to put back on the system.
There are many way to backup your desktop PC.
- You could use a flash drive to save the important documents and data files. This is probably the most cost effective and user friendly way to backup files. You can get storage for as little as $1 per Gbyte. There are several synchronization software products that will automatically backup as you use your system.
- You could use an external hard drive. This is similar to using a flash drive. Most large external hard drives come with good backup and restore software that handles your complete system. There are many Free packages such as Macrium, or the Microsoft backup tool built in to your desktop to use as well.
- You could try an online/off-site backup service. I have not tried any of these, but have seen many advertisements for them. Typically they give you about 2GB of free storage and charge a small monthly fee for more capacity. 2GB is more than enough for most users important files. This is most suitable for files that do not contain financial or personal identification information. Security is still an issue in my mind.
- Remember, if you backup an infected file, it will still be infected when you restore. That’s why its good to have more than 1 backup. We recommend scanning your backups for infections before relying on them.
If you think your PC is infected, need some help backing up your PC or deciding what files to back up, give the CCS Retail Systems Support Department a call at 800-672-4806 or email_us.
If this person had just one clean backup,even if a few months old, a lot of time, money and effort could have been saved.