Backups and Ransomware

Backups and Ransomware

This week we lost one of the hard drives in our NAS drive (Network Attached Storage).  This is the device which we backup all our data to on a nightly basis.   This meant we needed to replace the drive and while we were at it we decided to review our backup strategy.

My really essential files such as my Family History research live in Dropbox,  which has an automatic backup option, all my data including my 60,000 plus photos are backed up to the NAS drive mentioned above every day using Syncback Pro.  This works well and makes it easy to recover a file if I accidentally delete it and notice before the end of the day.  Additionally we have 3 external hard drives, which come in every week or so from the fire safe in the garage and these also contain copies of our data.  So if we should have a fire or similar problem which destroys the NAS and the computer we can go back having lost only a week or so’s data,  if we have been away we tend to backup to the external as soon as the photos are loaded on to the main computer.

For our boot drive this is backed up using the Acronis Drive image backup three times a week so it’s easy to recover windows if it has a bad day!

Now. . .  In the advent of the new aggressive ransomware, such as hit the NHS here a little while ago,  I thought we ought to improve the security of the NAS drive to prevent it being overridden by a virus which made it past my firewalls and anti-virus,  so what we have done is to modify the NAS so it can only be read by the Windows network and to write to it you need to use FTP and a different user from that which the PC is logged on with.

So hopefully this will prevent the loss of the data on the NAS in the event of an attack.

How are your backups?

  • Make sure you have copies of
    • Program installation files and CDs.
    • Recovery CDs for your Computers Operating system
    • License keys for downloaded programs and the ones you got on CD
    • A list of all the programs you have installed
  • If you have online backups?
    • How long will it take to download your files?
  • Can you recover from
    • Your computer being stolen
    • Your hard disk dying or the Operating system corrupting
    • A fire at your house
    • A flood

“Five Faves” Five of my favourite Family History Books

Jill Ball at Geniaus has kicked off another geneameme – Five Faves.

To participate, just share a blog post “sharing details of five books written by others that you have found most useful in your geneactivities” and let Jill know about it.

So here are a few of my favourites

Ancestral Trails: The Complete Guide to British Genealogy and Family History

This is a great resource for UK genealogy, it’s not web orientated so although published in 2005, it’s not dated as badly as many “internet” based guides. An essential bible for checking the classic sources of information.

Family Historians Enquire Within


An A-Z of Family History with again a UK and Irish bias. A great dip in reference and not as heavy as the Herber! Written by Janet Few, a lovely lady whose knowledge of all things Family History is tremendous.

Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet

Written by the irrepressible Chris Paton, this guide gives lots of great pointers for researching in Ireland along with links to lot’s of sites worth visiting, one of the few books I prefer in Kindle format as all the links are then live.

My Ancestor was an Agricultural Labourer


One of a large series of books on many of the common occupations, this one gives great insight into both the lives and the sources of information of the Agricultural Labourers who make up the majority of my Ancestors.

Getting the Most from Family Historian 6


I felt I really should include this one, Family Historian helps me record my Family History and this well written book by the programs author is “The Guide” to using the program. Although I have not read it from cover to cover I do occasionally dip into it to check the “recommended” way to do it.