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data backup

The end of Windows 7

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

After 10 years support Windows 7 is coming to an end on 14 January 2020.

How does this affect you? 

After January 14 your PC will no longer receive security updates or technical support from Microsoft. Subsequently your PC will pose a threat to the university’s network and we will have to remove it from the network for security reasons. This also means that you data will be unprotected and you could potentially have no acess to the network (in other words, no internet, email, etc.).

Therefore, if your PC is still running on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you will have to upgrade to Windows 10, an operating system which can provide the latest security updates to keep your data safe, before the end of the year. You can read more on Microsoft software’s life cycle on their site.

Upgrades from Windows 7 & 8.1 to Windows 10 will be free for staff. To request this upgrade, please log a request on the ICT Partner Portal (Select Get Desktop/laptop support) before the end of October. Please include the following information in the request:

  • the computer’s asset number
  • contact number
  • building name
  • room number

As the computer’s specifications have been checked, a request will be logged on our ICT Partner Portal and you will automatically receive an email. If any other actions are needed, an IT technician will also contact you.

Older equipment may need components for the upgrade and this will be for the account of the department. There might also be a possibility that very old equipment will not be able to be upgraded due to hardware limitations. 

IT will do the following without charge:

  1. Upgrade the operating system from Windows 7 & 8.1 to Windows 10
  2. Work related data will be backed up to OneDrive

You will have to pay for:

  1. Backups of all data.
  2. Hardware components necessary for the upgrade to Windows 10

If IT is requested to backup data, the cost will be as follow:

Less than 15GB – R1230-00
More than 15GB – R2120-00

Relevant articles on the end of Windows 7:

Protect your equipment against power outages

Sunday, March 31st, 2019

By now we’re used to the unpredictable nature of our electricity supply and started making changes to ensure our daily routine can continue in spite of it.

But have you considered the effect these irregular power surges might have on your appliances at home and the office? To ensure you don’t suffer any serious damage, there are a few measures you can take.

the-light-bulb-371652_6401. Regularly check the load shedding schedule.
This is important since you can’t protect your appliances if you’re not sure when power will be shut down. There are various ways to do this, including Eskom’s Twitter feed, website, as well as various apps. 

2. Switch off and unplug
Before scheduled load shedding, turn off and unplug or disconnect all your electrical appliances. By doing this, you will avoid a sudden strong surge of power to your device which could damage sensitive electronic circuitry.

It is also important to unplug computer power cables from plugs, as well as telephone cables.

3. Use surge protectors
As mentioned above, power surges could damage your appliances. To prevent this, you can also fit plugs equipped with surge protectors which will lessen the surge. Just remember, even if you use surge protectors, it’s still safer to unplug devices entirely.

4. Get a power bank
These useful little things are portable chargers which you can charge your phone and any other USB device with. With their help, you won’t be stuck without your cell phone or tablet while the rest of the world is shrouded in darkness.

They are readily available at online stores like Takealot and are not that expensive considering the convenience.

5. Get a UPS
A UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supply functions as a surge protector, but with also has a built-in battery, and can provide a constant power output for up to an hour. A UPS is merely a backup system to buy you time to protect appliances and save data. 

6. Backup
Backing up your data shouldn’t be done only when load shedding is prevalent. It should be part of your weekly routine. If you know load shedding will take place, do regular backups while working or before the scheduled power outage. This will ensure you don’t lose important work.

 

[SOURCE: www.eskom.co.za, www.mg.co.za, www.fin24.com, www.mweb.co.za, www.property24.com]

 

Defeat ransomware: Backup your data

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

The destructive Petya ransomworm caused destruction and major interruptions of services around the world last week. Unfortunately, it’s becoming progressively more difficult to avoid these attacks as cybercriminals become more clever and inventive in their methods. While there are ways to prevent that you fall prey to such an attack, there’s one thing you can do which will ensure that you are safe. And it’s not technical or difficult to do.

Once a week, backup all your data. Yes, this is a menial, boring administrative task – and we all hate those, but by ensuring that your data is safe and sound elsewhere, it won’t matter if your PC is infected by ransomware or any other malware. If you do lose your data, you will have another version available. 

Here are a few quick tips to help you:

  1. Choose one day a week which suits you and make an appointment in your diary to do a weekly backup.
  2. Try not to overwrite your previous backup. Rather make consecutive copies in various folders on your external hard drive or on your network space and name each with the particular day’s date. If any of the documents become corrupt for some reason, you can always fall back on a previous version.
  3. Regularly check that the medium on which you made your backup is still in working order and you’re able to access your documents.
  4. Use more than one backup medium, for example, your network space AND an external hard drive.

Where should you backup data?

  1. Each staff member has access to his/her own network space (usually the h-drive) where you can save an allocated amount of data for free. You have 1GB at your disposal to backup your most critical documents. At an extra cost of R10-00 per 1GB this space can also be increased. This network space is also available via the web at storage.sun.ac.za if you find yourself away from the SU network. 
  2. On your departmental network space (usually the g-drive). The departmental drive can be used for files used by more than one person and 15GB is allocated to each department. SharePoint can also be used by groups for sharing documents.
  3. OneDrive allows each staff member 5TB of storage space. This is available via the Office365 suite. https://portal.office.com/
  4. If you choose to have your data close at hand, get yourself an external hard drive. Never save important data on a flash drive – its sole function is for transporting data from one device to another and is not a dependable medium for backup. Just ensure that these devices are stored somewhere else (not also in your office) or in a safe. If confidential, SU documents are kept on an external hard drive, files have to be protected with a password or encrypted. Keep in mind that if you lose the password, not even IT can salvage your data.
  5. Alternatively, you can save data in the cloud. We’ve already mentioned OneDrive, but GoogleDrive or Dropbox are also examples of this. It is extremely important that cloud storage is only for personal use, not for any academic information or sensitive data. Also keep in mind that if you use more than one device, you have to sync data across devices and this will incur costs.

More tips on backups, as well as activating Windows’ automatic backup function on www.backblaze.com.

 

 
 

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