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Having effective IT backup systems in place is a must for businesses these days. Without such security measures, companies stand to lose potentially valuable data, and this could have disastrous consequences.

Highlighting just how much data is being generated around the world, a 2013 report produced by a team at Stanford University in the US suggested that humanity now creates a staggering 1,200 exabytes per year. To put this in context, one exabyte equates to 1,000 petabytes, which, in turn, is equivalent to 1,000 terabytes. One terabyte, meanwhile, is equal to 1,000 gigabytes, which is 1,000 megabytes. Typically, around one minute of MP3 audio takes up a single megabyte.

Hardware failures, viruses, the accidental or intentional deletion of information, theft, power cuts and natural disasters all pose a risk to data. Rather than opting for traditional onsite data storage solutions, such as computer hard drives, external hard drives, CDs, memory sticks and NAS drives, a rising number of organisations are turning to hosted backup solutions. Here are just some of the reasons why.

Save cold, hard cash

 

Firms do have to spend a little money in order to take advantage of hosted backup solutions, but this can be far less than the sums they would have to shell out if they relied on onsite systems. After all, online backup does not require the upgrading of in-house hardware and software. Also, cloud solutions are efficient because they enable companies to scale their plans to fit their precise needs. They can add or reduce storage space as and when they need to.

 

Benefit from greater ease of use

 

Online backup occurs automatically, meaning once they have set up these solutions, companies rarely have to think about them. This can free up valuable time for IT teams to get on with other important tasks. In sharp contrast, manual backup processes must be consciously adhered to on an ongoing basis.

Avoid disaster

In the event of disasters such as fires and floods, backup devices kept within offices can turn out to be useless. The very same things that destroy original data can wipe out these backup systems simultaneously, meaning businesses’ efforts to protect their data fail. This is why it is considered unwise for organisations to rely solely on onsite backups to safeguard their information.

Hosted solutions, on the other hand, avoid this problem entirely. By storing data on secure offsite servers, companies can ensure it is not tied to the fate of their premises.

Boost security

Online backup systems can also help to enhance security. Many enterprises now keep sensitive information like tax documents and financial records. If they back this data up onsite, they leave themselves vulnerable to the risk of theft. Criminals can easily make off with CDs, external hard drives and other devices. The same danger does not apply to online backup solutions.

 

Prevent reputation damage

By bolstering their security in this way, firms can minimize risks to their reputations. In the business world, it can take many long years of hard work and skill to build up a positive image as a trustworthy and reliable provider of goods or services. In contrast, it takes hardly any time at all to destroy such a reputation. If firms prove themselves to be unable to protect sensitive data, their public profiles can quickly plummet. Individuals and organisations do not want to deal with companies that display inadequate data protection procedures.

Enjoy peace of mind

By taking advantage of hosted backup systems, bosses can enjoy much greater peace of mind. As long as they choose a quality platform, such as London Cloud, they can rest assured that they have got this potentially complex issue under full control.

Google Play has been on the scene since October 2008 and during this six-year period it has grown to be one of the two biggest mobile app platforms in the world – alongside the App Store created by Apple. Google Play services those who use Android phones and, having started as the relative underdog, now has 84.7% of the overall market share, as pointed out by CNET. Of course market share does not automatically ensure dominance, but there are other signs that Google Play could achieve this.

google-play-logoAlthough Android has this massive slice of the mobile market, at the moment the actual Google Play app platform only has 39% market share distribution, compared with 61% for the App Store . This translates into higher revenues from the App Store, but the overall app market is growing fast and Android is cutting into iOS revenues, as Google targets users of lower-end smartphones costing less than $200 with its apps. Alongside tablet users this has helped Google Play reach 90% of the total App Store downloads. However, the problem has been converting that into profits, as better-off iPhone users have been more inclined to buy apps, but making the Android OS free and targeting users of Samsung mobiles in South Korea and Japan particularly, is now helping Google close this gap. Google Play’s revenues rose to 38.5% of the App Store’s (compared with one tenth a year before), indicating that sales of Android games apps in these countries is proving effective.

It is not just games apps that are helping Google Play catch the App Store, and increase its share of the market even further, as educational ones are proving a big hit in schools. The likes of Google Apps for Education are becoming a fixture in US schools, showing that the company has a varied strategy. The impressive performance of Google Play since 2008 and the spread of Android phones around the world, suggests we should all Google Play to win. General interests such as fashion, movies, and sports app are also becoming increasingly popular, with many being developed by individuals and companies. For example for sports fans who enjoy to check the odds on matches there is a Sports Bet Predictor app. These are easily downloadable to devices from the play google page and contain all the necessary information such as the developers details and independent reviews to help you make an informative decision.

San Francisco — Yahoo alerted users of its free email service Thursday that hackers slipped into accounts to loot information using stolen passwords.

The California company did not disclose the extent of the breach, but said that it is asking those affected to change their passwords.

“Security attacks are unfortunately becoming a more regular occurrence,” Yahoo senior vice president for platforms and personalization products Jay Rossiter said in a blog post.

“We regret this has happened and want to assure our users that we take the security of their data very seriously.”

A malicious computer program armed with Yahoo Mail passwords and usernames apparently slipped into accounts aiming to glean names and addresses from messages that had been sent, according to Rossiter.

Yahoo recently discovered the invasion and suspected that the passwords were snatched from a third-party database that the company did not disclose.

“We have no evidence that they were obtained directly from Yahoo’s systems,” Rossiter said.

Yahoo said it was working with federal authorities to investigate the breach.

What can the users do?

The company is resetting passwords on accounts that have been affected and is taking steps to allow users to re-secure their accounts. It is sending notification e-mails instructing those users to change their passwords; users may also receive a text message, if they’ve shared their phone number with the company.

It’s a song-and-dance that users may be tiring of, but it is important for Yahoo account holders who were swept up in the attack to change their passwords for immediately.

They should also change their log-in credentials for any account that may share their Yahoo password, particularly if they use their Yahoo e-mail as their username. The same is true if you use a similar e-mail address as the username — it’s not a big leap for hackers to think that you may be both [email protected] and [email protected]

Finally, everyone should also be on the lookout for spam, as the attack also appears to have picked up names and e-mail addresses for the most recent contacts from affected accounts, according to the company’s post.

If you get an odd e-mail from the Yahoo account of someone you know, ignore the message, and do not click on any links in the message. (It’s also be nice to let the person whose account has been hacked know about the fraudulent messages, so they can warn others to avoid the e-mails.)

VIDEO

Like the epic intro to some Tolkien-esque fantasy film, it seems that the music industry looks set to be thrown into chaos – with broken hearts at the centre of a monumental music streaming battle. The announcement of the Dr. Dre endorsed rival to Spotify’s streaming monopoly has rallied the troops and set the PR war machine to work – with a number of interesting, and sometimes speculative announcements from the service’s marketing department designed to keep consumers on-side.

Spotify HQ
Erik StattinCC BY-SA

The latest of these announcements hopes to take those broken hearts and recommend a suitably sentimental love-song to remedy the pain. That is, Spotify have announced that, in the near future they hope to be able to monitor users heart-beats to provide a recommendation system based on mood and/or likelihood of cardiac arrest. It seems that Dr Dre’s Beats has got Spotify’s pulse racing.

Smartphone for Smart Recommendations

This latest idea from Spotify will use device to device communication from companies such as Deutsche Telekom to monitor things like pulse, temperature, sleep patterns and body motion. The aim is to build a picture of individual users that enables the service to recommend music, linked not only to listening habits, but also to mood and disposition from sensors within your smartphone.

The data will be collected from your smartphone and then sent wirelessly to your Spotify account – although details on exactly how this will work are still very much unclear. It is a safe bet though that, with the meteoric rise and “one box to rule them all” philosophy of the smartphone, these features will appear sooner rather than later. In the meantime, keep your eyes peeled for the latest announcements from an increasingly worried Spotify.