Monday, 26 October 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Shares Tips For Effective Remote Working

Irvine, CA-based Hard Drive Recovery group is pleased to share that they have published a new blog post containing tips for staying effective while working remotely. Read the post in full at the following link:

Due to COVID-19, around 5 billion people around the world now have to study or work from their homes. As a result, many economic analysts have said that the world economy would collapse and that the world is entering into an economic contraction on the level of the Great Depression and the aftermath of World War II. This will continue to happen unless people are able to adapt to the situation.

Fortunately, many individuals and businesses have been able to rise to the challenge posed by these strange times. Remote working has saved not only businesses but also entire economies from total shutdowns. Additionally, when done correctly, remote working can allow businesses to make a profit in addition to saving themselves. Certain companies have less expenses to sustain now as well, thanks to the closure of many shops and offices, which in turn can help them redirect resources to solidify their financial health. Now that working from home is becoming the norm, there are some tips that many can learn and apply to become more effective during remote work.

The first tip is to establish a routine. Most people had a routine that they held for weeks, months and even years while they were working for their respective organizations. The routine usually followed this route: waking up, commuting to work, arriving to the office on time, turning on the desktop, reviewing emails, having coffee, going to meetings, having lunch, doing work and then going home. While it is a different environment at home, many can still establish a similar routine for their remote working setup. Establishing routines helps one set expectations, get into a groove of working and develop positive habits that in turn allow a task to be completed in a simpler, easier and more streamlined manner.

The second tip is to have a dedicated work space. As much as possible, a person’s work space should be separated from other areas in the house. It is not a good working habit to work in bed or in other places where other activities such as eating and watching television are done. Separating a work space helps people get into a proper state of mind for working by allowing them to distance themselves from distractions, such as scrolling through social media or going through a Netflix marathon.

In fact, an article from Entrepreneur states, “If you operate an automotive paint shop, then chances are your workspace will be the garage or a freestanding shop out back. If you operate a dental practice from home, then your workspace will probably be a portion of your home used for a waiting room, a treatment room and an office. In other words, workspace requirements will vary depending on the business you choose to operate.”

The third tip is to maintain self-care. People should not base their entire lives and schedules around work. It is important to reserve some time to care for themselves. Practicing self-care after doing work allows people to maintain their sanity, especially during this period of unrest. They must also set aside some time for physical activities, meditation, journal writing, grooming or whatever self-care tasks that they like to do.

The last tip is to maintain clear communication with colleagues. Remote teamwork can lose its momentum when somebody suddenly goes missing in action and stops answering messages and emails. When this happens, other members will naturally suspect that their missing teammate may be slacking. This damages remote teamwork even further. Therefore, it is important to communicate issues and challenges to colleagues and supervisors. Everyone is in this crisis together, so most people can understand if a member of the team is having connectivity issues or needs to take a short break.

Hard Drive Recovery Group adds that losing data and important files on devices can derail someone’s remote working experience as well. Because of this, Hard Drive Recovery Group is pleased to inform their community that their technicians can provide assistance with recovering important files and repairing hard drives. Complete details can be found on the company’s website. Those who are in need of professional and reliable data recovery may also connect with Hard Drive Recovery Group via social media to stay up to date with their news and announcements.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Have You Jumped on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bandwagon?

In our uncertain and joyless times, everyone seems to look for and cling to anything that would click. A form of escapism? Most definitely. But then, with everyone subject to the very oppressive situation brought about by the pandemic, then yes, we can feel a bit entitled and get our entertainment in any way possible. In our case, these days, that source of entertainment can simply be stated in four words: Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Those of us who are in the loop when it comes to news but do not own any Nintendo Switch have surely heard of it in passing. After all, you may have most probably heard of Lord of the Rings star Elijah Wood actually interacting with players whom he met in the game in real life. Yes, this is Coin Master (have you seen Jennifer Lopez ads of the game where she looks for people who attacked her village?) in real life. But not only Elijah Wood has gotten addicted to this game – other celebrities like Oscar-winner Brie Larson and Chrissy Teigen have also posted about the game in their social media accounts. Can you believe that even politician and media darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a player, too?

So, before you get into the Animal Crossing: new Horizons bandwagon and surrender your dollars to Nintendo and hours to play the game, here is some background information. Good luck on not getting hooked, because we are pretty sure you will be.

The game

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is already the fifth title of the Animal Crossing franchise. Also, if you don’t have a Nintendo Switch, then you ill not be able to play it, because the game is only available on this gadget. So no, it is not an app-based game. But don’t worry about it being the fifth installment of Animal Crossing already. You don’t need to know how to play the first four installments of the game to play this fifth title.

There’s so much to do in Animal Crossing even though it’s going to read so simple. The TL;DR: you slowly build a delightful island using basic equipment like a shovel and an axe.

Why so popular?

The popularity of Animal Crossing may actually be attributed to the fact that there are so many scenarios you can get into even if you’re stuck at home because of the pandemic lockdown. By playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it is almost like the player is vicariously outdoors. And that works in our situation nowadays because we can only explore the outside world vicariously. Imagine if Pokémon Go was introduced now, where going out is highly discouraged? How can you catch Pokémon when you are confined in the corners of your home?

The game proceeds in an open-ended fashion, and players are allowed to forge their own paths at their leisure. Players can collect furniture, craft items, fish, catch bugs, customize their characters, talk to villagers, visit other islands, and gain Bells, which is the form of in-game currency. The open concept of the game has proved to be its defining feature, as players are hooked in by the escapism aspect of the game.

Growth in spite or because of the pandemic? 

Nintendo’s move to release this game during the pandemic is one genius move. In a world where everyone is looking for sources of indoor entertainment, the move to release a game is absolutely brilliant. No wonder Nintendo is reporting positive developments even during this anxiety-filled time.

“The number of consumers who started playing on Nintendo Switch because of this game continued to increase during the first quarter, from April to June 2020. Of all systems in the Nintendo Switch family that were played for the first time during this period, over half were used to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons on the first day.”

So popular it's in pop culture

The game has become so popular that celebrities have poured praises on it through social media. With social media being the prime source of information for may these days, it is inevitable that people have taken notice of the game because of glowing endorsements from famous people they follow. In turn, artists have only hopped into the game’s bandwagon, finding ways to collaborate and take advantage of its popularity to positively affect them.

Selena Gomez recently debuted a stripped-down version of her newest track with Trevor Daniel, “Past Life,” in an unexpected place: a late night talk show on Twitch that exists entirely within Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Have you been playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons as well? It's a good thing to have a break from all the stresses of this world, but let us give you a reality check: You need to act on recovering your missing files! The first step is get in touch with us to start your data recovery journey. Read more here:

Have You Jumped on the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Bandwagon? Read more on: Hard Drive Recovery Group


Sunday, 18 October 2020

Ransomware Attacks Increase Even in the Time of Corona

Just when everybody thinks that the cases of online fraud and people being victimized of scams will be decreasing because people would have empathy towards each other amidst this global pandemic, we have been proved wrong. In the area of ransomware attacks, not only have the incidences increased even if everybody is encouraged to stay indoors, the average size of ransomware payments has been on the uptrend. The increase of ransomware payments is not only just incremental but quite significant. The average payment to ransomware attackers in the 2nd quarter of 2020 according to a report by Coveware, has increased by 60% from the first quarter of this year, which is now at US$170,000.  The trend, which has leaned towards increases, may be attributed to the various new options in tactics and the rise of new software. Ransomware attacks have become tailored to the targets, which thus have made them all the more dangerous and damaging.

Moreover, according to the Coveware report, a recent development in the second quarter of 2020 is the emergence of attackers who do not demand that high a ransom. The trend for this breed of attackers would be to use free or affordable ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) tools for hacking. These attackers would usually charge lower amounts as smaller businesses are usually being targeted. And this is what makes matters worse because as is, small businesses are already suffering because of the pandemic. When they are further victimized by ransomware attackers, that one more nail in the coffin of their impending death.  The trend of attacking these small businesses should hopefully end for the sake of the economy and because they really do not need any more problems.

More data exfiltration?

According to various reports with regard to ransomware, ransomware attacks have come in the form of data exfiltration. The data exfiltration manner is different from other types of ransomware attacks in the sense that the attacker takes the data instead of just keeping it ransom. Once the attacker gets the data, the stolen data is then put up for sale on tech marketplaces and forums. In “usual” ransomware attacks, the data does not leave the server of the entity being attacked and the attacker just makes it impossible for the attacked to have access to the information unless a ransom is paid.

Traditional data exfiltration is itself a blend of data theft and extortion. A hacker compromises an organization’s defenses and exfiltrates sensitive data of measurable value—financial records, intellectual property, business data, and so on. After offering the data for sale on the black market to establish its value, the attacker then contacts the victim and demands a payment to prevent a sale.


With more cases come higher demands

While the number of cases have gone higher, so have the demands for the ransom cost. While there are more attackers that are more comfortable with using cheaper versions of RaaS software,  the number of attackers who prefer only big entities as they think it is their role to keep these big entities in check have also increased.

The average ransom payment in Q2 was $178,254, a 60% leap from the $111,605 average in Q1. Average ransom payments climbed steadily since 2018, which coincided with the arrival of the first “big game hunting” ransomware variants, BitPaymer and Ryuk.



More low-end "DIY" ransomware attacks?

As mentioned above, more low-end attacks have also been occurring that target smaller businesses, where attackers use cheaper RaaS software.

The Dharma Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operation makes it easy for a wannabe cyber-criminal to get into the ransomware business by offering a toolkit that does almost everything for them. A RaaS operation is a cybercrime model where the developers are in charge of managing the ransomware development and ransom payment system. At the same time, affiliates are responsible for compromising victims and deploying the ransomware.


Prevention is better than cure

But how can businesses avoid the entire threat of ransomware attacks, though? Having strong IT infrastructure is still key.

A strong IT operations team is a weapon in security's arsenal, along with widespread security awareness across all employees -- in and out of IT. The IT team can prevent ransomware with regular patching and software updates, reduce the effect of an attack with good and frequent backups, lead the recovery to get systems up and running, and analyze logs to gain insights on the attack.


On the other hand, if your personal or work-related files go missing, you need professional data recovery services to help. Read on to be more informed of our services:

The blog post Ransomware Attacks Increase Even in the Time of Corona is available on The Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Thursday, 15 October 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Discusses Risks Of Zoom Calling

Irvine, California-based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) is reaching out to the community to discuss the risks of using Zoom for remote working, and why it may be better to seek for other alternatives.

"With most of the employed world currently working at home to avoid the spread of COVID-19, apps and programs that make remote work easier have become household names. Zoom has grown to be one of the most popular remote working tools. We have noticed that many people have been far too quick to jump the gun and begin using these apps without considering the risks and security issues that may be inherent to them," states Maureen Davies of Hard Drive Recovery Group. While the concern with Zoom as a secure remote working platform has only increased over the past few weeks, HDRG states that users have not given enough weight to the comments from online security experts who question its security features and doubt the safety of users’ data on the platform.

Davies adds, "Zoom has been criticized by high-profile individuals in the past for safety concerns. While none of their demands have produced significant results, there are enough cases to make you question whether you should trust this company with your company's sensitive information. One of the most recent cases that come to mind is that of Letitia James, a New York attorney general. She demanded that the company inform the public of the lack of security measures they had taken to keep up with the sudden ballooning of their users. She questioned the company's ability to guarantee the well being of their users as well. While Zoom announced at the time that all their resources were focused on addressing safety and security issues raised by users in recent weeks, the underlying concern still remains despite their efforts to offer reassurance."

Whether or not Zoom is putting as much dedication as they claim into increasing the security of their app, one thing that is clear is that their efforts have not been enough to prevent unfortunate incidents from happening all over their platform. Zoom bombing has been an issue for a few weeks now, to the point where it has now caught the attention of the FBI. These video hijacking incidents present more than simple inconveniences, as students have been exposed to the antics of several individuals who join their classroom with malicious intentions. The FBI is already investigating numerous incidents of hackers infiltrating video meetings, shouting racial slurs and issuing threats. The Bureau is also looking into the connection between these hackers and ransomware hackers who, until recently, have also victimized businesses.

Another problem with Zoom's platform, according to Hard Drive Recovery Group, is the lack of end-to-end encryption. This is a feature that cybersecurity savvy users are always on the lookout for, as it secures communication platforms so that whatever goes into the platform can only be accessed by the users involved. While Zoom boasted in the past that their app used this well-regarded security measure, they have come around to admit that end-to-end encryption is not yet present on the platform. That is only of the many flaws in security that Zoom has been accused of possessing, and their criticism goes all the way back to early 2019.

Davies states, "Back in 2019, Zoom users were surprised when it was revealed that a hidden web server had been installed on user devices which could add the user to a call without his or her consent. Recently, a bud was discovered that could allow hackers to take over a Mac of a Zoom user through the device’s webcam and microphone. The company has yet to offer any reassurance or explanation for these issues, leading users to worry about what they are being exposed to when using the app."

Even some of Zoom's better features have been criticized, as the apps' attention tracker has been called out as a way of sneaking in-app surveillance to monitor their user's activities. This issue, along with several others, are thoroughly explained in Hard Drive Recovery Group's latest blog post, titled, ‘Is Zoom Helping Or Destroying Your Remote Work Efforts?’ Those interested are welcome to visit their site to read further or get in touch with the company’s representatives to follow up on any further inquiries.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Sunday, 11 October 2020

How to Deal With Data Loss

When we talk about loss these days, we bet everybody has something to say. Some of us would volunteer that they have lost a lot of joy because they miss going out and seeing friends and family. Some would claim they miss the outdoors as they are just cooped up in their houses, not being allowed to explore anything beyond their doorstep and smell the fresh air and flowers.  Unfortunately, some of us would say they have lost acquaintances, friends, and family to COVID-19. And then, for some of us working at home, losing important data because of missing files and documents is one thing they have experienced and are now suffering from. Oh, what a tragedy! Losing important files could get anyone in trouble and for some of us, may cost us our jobs, which at this time is something nobody can afford to lose.

Losing files and documents can happen to even the best of us because of two reasons. One of the reasons important files may suddenly disappear is because our devices, whether a laptop or desktop, may have gotten damaged. When your hard drive crashes, when you drop your laptop, or if somehow, your hard drive gets in contact with a magnet, there is a huge chance that your files may get erased. Another reason a lot of files get lost is, unfortunately, our carelessness. We usually get mouse clicker happy when we want to free up some space for some reasons. We think that fewer files will make our computers faster, so we delete files without too much care. Then, there are also times that we click on “Select All” when we transfer unnecessary files to the Recycle Bin and click on “Empty Recycle Bin” and “Yes” without really doublechecking which files will we affected. Thus, we end up deleting files we should not really.

So, to help you with recovering important files and documents, what should you do? Do you go for a DIY strategy and save some money in exchange for a risky procedure or should you leave it up to the professionals?


Should you DIY data recovery?

When you decide to do data recovery by yourself, you would need a data recovery software. This method would be most effective if you accidentally deleted your file or if your hard drive was suddenly corrupted. Even with files that have supposedly been deleted “permanently,” these software suites have proven to be quite effective.

Data recovery is helpful in many ways whether you are at home or in a professional setting. Your photos, videos, and voice recordings amassed and saved on your computer or an external storage medium can’t be recreated or relived. Data recovery helps you get back those treasured digital memories.


Things to look for

So, what should you exactly look for when you look for DIY data recovery software. There are quite a number of software available in the market today, each claiming to be the best, that the options can be overwhelming. Do not forget the features and benefits when winding down with your selection.

Good data recovery software should give you the option to preview your corrupted files before initiating the retrieval process sometimes you might spot a file that is corrupted but after restoring, you realize that it is not what you are looking for. Therefore, good data recovery software should have a preview feature to help you save time in finding the right files that you want to retrieve.


When to go for data recovery services

If you have the funds, if you don’t want to take the risk of letting those lyrics disappear forever, then you can leave the data recovery task to the professionals.

You can get the necessary help from an IT company that provides these services if you are feeling apprehensive about doing it yourself when you want to back up your data. Doing it this way ensures a professional will do the work, and your data is safe. It also streamlines the process of securing the data as the backup is done remotely. Then, everything else can be done when you set it up.


Speaking of data recovery services, look no further! Let Data Drive Recovery Group help you! Know more about our expertise by reading here:

The post How to Deal With Data Loss Read more on: Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Hard Drive Recovery Group Shares Insight On Working From Home

Hard Drive Recovery Group, an Irvine, California-based data restoration service, recently published a new blog post talking about working from home. With many people having to work from their homes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hard Drive Recovery Group has decided to offer tips that might help make their readers’ experiences with working from home more productive and less strenuous. Not being able to leave the house even for work has proven to be very difficult for some people but, done correctly, it can be just as safe, secure and productive as working at an office.

“We are in this together, and we are not sure of when this lockdown will be over, so we might as well make sure our remote work experience is maximized,” says the blog post. “So, how do we make the most of remote work to improve our experience, let our companies enjoy the fruits of our efforts and make the world economy suffer a little less? We have a few tips to offer that could make this remote work situation better for everyone.”

It is estimated that four billion people around the world are working from home due to lockdowns imposed by their governments around the world in response to the rapidly spreading COVID-19 virus. This means that billions can no longer meet face-to-face, be it for social or business reasons. There are, however, multiple apps that allow video conferencing which, while not the same as meeting in real life, make communication a lot easier. Communicating through audio calls or emails and text messages can make it difficult to trust the other party when discussing business as it is nearly impossible to see and judge body language and facial expressions.

Certain software tools can make sending and receiving work files easier. As the blog post says, “If you casually ask someone working from home to send you a file, the first option they will most probably consider is send an email and attach the document to it. But then, sending a file through email may not exactly be the most efficient way of sharing files nowadays, considering that there are apps or programs that would allow you to share the file and more. Look around and share with the team apps and programs that make remote working a better collaborative experience.”

When working from home, it is generally to strike a balance between work and leisure. Being stuck at home can have negative effects on one’s emotional state, but it is important to remain positive during meetings and virtual team gatherings. This can improve the moods of one’s co-workers and improve the overall working experience. It is also important to separate work from leisure as well. Working from home does not imply an increase in working hours, and the blog past advises that workers make it clear when they are on and when they are off the clock.

Hard Drive Recovery Group has a number of services that can help one recover lost documents or manage data. The company provides safe and secure hard drive recovery from Mac and PC hard disk drives using both software and clean room hands-on data retrieval. Every day, the company recovers thousands of megabytes of data for individuals and companies across North America.

A number of clients have great reviews of the data recovery service. One client, T. Chalmers, shares, “On behalf of everyone here, I want to give my utmost thanks for saving our database. While we can't say much about our IT services company (who really dropped the ball here), I have nothing but good things to say about you guys. Without Hard Drive Recovery Group, we would have been in a really brutal situation. I also appreciate the service I received, as you guys kept me notified of the progress every single step of the way. Now that you helped us put a new backup plan in place (and a new IT provider), I feel like we're on very steady ground."

For more information, visit Hard Drive Recovery Group’s website. Their representatives may be contacted for further details as well.

from Hard Drive Recovery Group

Sunday, 4 October 2020

Postpone, Cancel, Goodbye?

We are living in uncertain times, indeed. The coronavirus has put our lives on an indefinite pause as the plans that we have zealously tried to plot and implement at the start of the year has been out in the backburner or worse, turned into pipe dreams because the timing has suddenly become askew or finances have suddenly become scarce. It is not actually because people have become more fickle-minded, but even if we have the tools to execute a project, there is somewhat a more enticing proposition: To just curl in bed all day, Netflix and chill. There is just a compulsion in these uncertain times to also be uncertain and just let go – let the law of que sera, sera unfurl in your life. Is it really the best thing to be committed to something nowadays? The thing is, things are so uncertain that if we commit ourselves to something, there is a chance that the thing we have committed to will eventually not materialize because of circumstances beyond our control. So, we end up having this fear of commitment and resolve to ourselves that maybe now is not really the right time to exercise the value of being committed.

The issue of commitment has also been prevalent in the world of technology. Since the pandemic, it seems that companies, not just individuals. have also become allergic to being committed. Participation in major events have become erratic, product launches have been postponed until canceled, and some businesses, unfortunately, have to say goodbye because they want to cut their losses earlier rather than prolonging their agony. We have rounded up some items in the technology that have been canceled, postponed, or moved.

Toshiba Says Sayonara to Laptops   

In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Japanese tech company Toshiba was one of the trusted names when it comes to laptops. Toshiba was then known for producing very sturdy laptops that do not get easily malfunction. Then, other manufacturers introduced more laptops that are more affordable, chipping Toshiba’s formerly stable share of the market. Now, it’s goodbye for them in the laptop production field.

Japanese tech giant Toshiba will no longer make laptops after more than three decades in the business, the company has announced.

On August 4, Toshiba transferred its last outstanding share in Dynabook Inc., its laptop computing arm, to Sharp, another Japanese electronics corporation.


Google Play Music's Last Note

Google, for all its dominance in some services such as search engines, the Android operating system, and app marketing, has failed in some markets, including music. Somehow consumers really didn’t catch on to Google Play Music as much as they warmed up to platforms like iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify. So now, Google Play Music is playing its swan song.

Google Play Music has been given the death sentence by Google, and today the company has announced a bit more detail about how its execution will be carried out. The main message from today's blog post is "back up your music now," as Google says it will wipe out all Google Music collections in December 2020.


See You Next Year, Halo Infinite

In a time of pandemic when people are in a constant search for anything and everything that would provide them a brief respite from thinking of the dire situation of the world through escapist entertainment, it is a bit suspect for Microsoft to push back the release of one their most profitable games, Halo Infinite.

It’s an unexpected move, seeing as Microsoft has been pushing Halo Infinite hard as the primary reason to purchase the upcoming Xbox Series X console. The move means Microsoft is delaying its biggest launch title.


Disney Delays Movies

Alas, as audiences have moved from going to the theaters to consuming everything online, it is inevitable for entertainment companies like Disney to push back the release date of their movies. And now, the much-anticipated and much-pushed back Mulan has already been reported to be released online instead of being released in cinemas once they become operational again.

All scheduled "Star Wars" and "Avatar" films between 2021 and 2027 are being pushed back one year, the company announced Thursday. That means there will be no "Avatar 2" next year and no new Star Wars film in 2022.


But with trying to recover lost files, you never should postpone or cancel! Make sure you get the best assistance for your issue with us: Get us to reunite you with your files for worry-free data recovery.

Postpone, Cancel, Goodbye? Read more on: Hard Drive Recovery Group Blog


Data Recovery Expert: How To Celebrate A Holiday In Lockdown

Irvine, CA-based Hard Drive Recovery Group (HDRG) is encouraging their community to avoid being disheartened by the fact that they have had ...