Does “Deleted” Really Mean Deleted?

Laplink Software is a strong supporter of sustainability, especially when it comes to PCs. A great way to become more ecofriendly is to recycle old tech products when seeking to buy new equipment. A great way to do this is by reselling or donating used equipment. This helps reduce landfill waste and is an awesome way to make some extra cash to put towards the next tech purchase. However, reselling or recycling old technology can be dangerous if the old hard drive is not dealt with correctly. Personal information, bank details, and other sensitive information can be recovered using specialized software that is widely available to the public. Access to unwiped hard drives can significantly increase the risk of intellectual property theft, compromise data integrity, and leave businesses vulnerable to attack.

The website, “The Guardian,” conducted an investigative research study where they compiled 22,000 “deleted” files extracted from eight computers purchased from an auction site on eBay. These computer hard drives were incorrectly wiped and resulted in thousands of personal files left behind at anyone’s disposal. This study ultimately confirmed normal deletion is insufficient to destroy all data. Even more disturbing, The Guardian warned, “The eight PCs contained more valuable personal information than ever as people increasingly shop online, use social networking sites, and take digital photos. Such information could bring identify thieves a hefty payday,” said Sarah Kinder. Regular deletion methods aren’t as successful because of the way PCs hard drives store information. Index files on the PC hard drive store data, updates, and listings of where files are stored on the physical hard drive. When a file is “deleted” on the system, the index on the hard drive is removed but the actual file containing the data remains on the hard drive.

Clearly the threat of incorrectly wiping a hard drive before removal of service is essential for people and businesses alike. Luckily, Laplink Software has introduced a state of the art data erasing software called SafeErase®. SafeErase® is the fastest and most secure way to permanently delete sensitive information. The software uses a series of US Department of Defense (DoD) and the German Federal Office of Information Security (BSI) recommended deletion methods, ensuring a complete wipe of any and all personal data so it is unrecoverable. SafeErase® uses 6 grades of data deletion and offers a series of 35 different deletion cycles executed in random order. The data is also overwritten with zeros to ensure the fastest deletion times. All data, programs, settings, profiles, email archives, etc. on the hard drive will be gone forever. SafeErase® ensures restoration of the hard drive is impossible after the software has been used.

However, if the data intended to be erased from the old PC is also data that needs to preserved and transferred to the new PC, Laplink Software has created PCmover® to alleviate this problem. Laplink Software offers a bundle packaged, PCmover Ultimate®, which includes both PCmover® and SafeErase®. This package allows for safe hard drive deletion from the old PC and a successful data transfer to the new PC, leaving nothing behind on both ends. PCmover Ultimate® and SafeErase® are available at Laplink.com and Amazon.com.

Laplink Software strongly encourages the recycling and reselling of old technology and wants to make the process as safe as possible. Be sustainable and protect your business, family, and personal data with SafeErase® or PCmover Ultimate®. Don’t just delete data, annihilate it! Bringing peace of mind and allowing for the betterment of our environment.

Imaging vs. Backup: Which to Use?

If you are confused about whether to choose disk imaging or backup software, you need to first understand the differences between the two. One question that comes up is if the terms “imaging” and “backup” are interchangeable. Well, they are not.

Although these terms are sometimes mistakenly used interchangeably, the two types of software actually differ significantly. Backup software copies just your data, while disk imaging software makes a full, exact copy of your entire hard drive.  Thus, with imaging software, you get a perfect mirror of the PC. Certain software programs do include both functions, such as Laplink Software’s DiskImage.

Importance of Imaging

If you only have a backup of your data and you need to format your PC, you will have to reinstall your operating system and all your software. In addition, you will also need to restore the backup data on the hard disk and individually reset all your preferences.  Thus, solely backing up data is not sufficient if you want to easily keep the same personalization of your PC. To accomplish this, use imaging software to restore the exact copy of your hard drive to your PC, and your PC will be the same as it was previously.

Imaging can also be convenient if you want to upgrade the hardware. Restore the image of your old disk onto your new computer, and your new PC will then have the same setup as your old PC. If you chose to instead back up your PC and reinstall the software, it would take you much more time and effort because you would need to restore each part one by one.

Third, if you image your hard drive regularly, then in case of any system failure you will be able to easily restore your PC to the point before the failure. You can schedule the imaging process with the help of imaging software. Imaging routinely has two advantages – you don’t lose any data, and neither do you need to reinstall your system.

Importance of Backup

Creating a backup of your PC also has some benefits. For starters, when you upgrade your computer’s operating system, taking a precautionary backup of your data is a good option.

Also, if you frequently revise files and create new files on your PC, taking a backup of the data at regular intervals is more important than creating a new image each time. This way, you can take a backup of only the files that have changed since the last backup, which will take less time and use less storage space than imaging each time.

Therefore, it is up to you to decide if you want to use imaging or backup software. If you want to avoid reinstalling your programs, use imaging. If you want to copy data and keep it safely, creating a backup is the best option.

For the most versatility, select software with combined imaging and backup functionality, such as Laplink DiskImage.  With DiskImage, you can choose which functionality to use based on your specific needs in each situation.

DiskImage product box

SafeErase: Its Critical Importance

When it comes to computer data and security, erasing data permanently is not as simple as you might think. In the past, you may have placed unwanted files in the recycle bin and emptied the bin, thinking you removed the files completely. However, only the directory entry of each file is actually removed. The data remains on the hard disk and can be easily retrieved. If you format the partitions or opt for formatting through BIOS, a part of the data remains, and it can still be recovered, although one would need to work a bit harder to do so.

Considering all the problems associated with data theft and security, you need advanced software, such as Laplink SafeErase, to delete the data permanently. Laplink SafeErase, as the name suggests, deletes the data completely from your hard disk, making it unrecoverable for any misuse. Now that you understand SafeErase’s importance, let’s have a look at specific situations when SafeErase should be used.

#1: Recycling Hardware: Security Against Identity Theft

If you are planning to recycle or sell your old PC, you need to take precautionary measures to protect yourself and your data. If you only format your hard disk, sensitive documents may remain on your PC, leaving you at risk of identity theft. A tech-savvy individual can easily extract the information from your hard disk and use it against you or your organization. However, if you use Laplink SafeErase to securely delete all your data, your sensitive information will be unrecoverable. SafeErase’s government recommended deletion methods provide you with complete privacy protection.

#2: Ongoing Data Deletions

If you are planning to use your hard disk in a different computer, or you want to format it to make the performance more optimized, then you need to use SafeErase. With the help of SafeErase, you can permanently delete data you don’t want on your PC.

You should also use SafeErase for regular deletions of unwanted data, such as email archives, Internet browser data, and financial information. In the past, you may have deleted such files using the recycle bin, but now securely delete files so they are gone forever.

Now that you know why and when to use SafeErase from Laplink Software, it is time to start using the software. However, before securely deleting data, make a copy of any important files so that you don’t lose them. Have any questions? Feel free to reach out to us!

Laplink SafeErase

 

Laplink Solves Hidden Dangers of Moving off Windows XP

Laplink and Microsoft partnered to offer PCmover Express for Windows XP to support PC migrations of data and settings from a Windows XP machine to a Windows 10 machine.

End of support for Windows XP occurred in April 2014. Windows XP users who chose to stay on the operating system after April faced an end to hot-fixes, technical assistance, and security updates. Remaining on Windows XP was risky; many reports pointed out that the lack of security updates would make it a big target for hackers, viruses, and other malware. When Microsoft released security updates for Windows 7 and 8, attackers checked and tested Windows XP for these same vulnerabilities. If the vulnerabilities were shared, it made it easy for a hacker to release malware into the target XP computer.

Studies suggest that Windows XP users are six times more likely to suffer from a virus or other malware. We highly recommend that XP users upgrade their current operating system or transfer to a new Windows 10 PC. Our flagship product, PCmover, helps users move into a new PC seamlessly, so there’s no reason to face the risks that Windows XP carries.

PCmover for Windows XP transfers all selected files and personalized settings from an old PC to a new PC. Its streamlined process handles everything automatically using a step-by-step wizard to guide the user through individual selections. Users can choose to transfer everything, or they can select which files, and settings to leave behind. PCmover handles the rest!

For users interested in migrating their applications, also, they should look at PCmover Professional. There’s no need to find old serial numbers, license codes, or installation disks because PCmover transfers most applications to the new PC installed and ready-to-use.

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PCmover also comes with 24/7 Free Transfer Assistance. Users can simply call the toll-free number and receive expert guidance from a certified migration specialist. The migration specialist will walk any user through the complete transfer process, including setting up peripherals like printers, wireless internet, and more.

There is a hidden danger behind moving off of Windows XP that many PC users aren’t considering. Once a user leaves the old PC, what do they do with the data? Data that isn’t erased permanently can be retrieved, causing them to become victims of identity theft. Fortunately, we offer a solution for that too with SafeErase.

Research shows that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in America and affects approximately 19 people per minute. The average victim of identity theft suffers an estimated $500 and 30 hours to resolve the crime. Deleted data can be recovered; even when hard disks are formatted, data recovery software can be used to obtain personal confidential data. Laplink SafeErase protects users by permanently deleting data so that no one can retrieve and use it.

Laplink SafeErase is the fastest and most secure way to permanently delete sensitive information from an old PC before selling or recycling. Utilizing a series of government recommended deletion methods, SafeErase completely wipes personal data from the hard drive making it completely unrecoverable.  SafeErase is compatible with Windows 10, making it the perfect tool for those looking to move off Windows XP to a new Windows computer.

Full versions of PCmover can be purchased at www.laplink.com for users interested in moving off Windows XP. Laplink SafeErase is available for $29.95 at www.laplink.com.

Your 7 Worst Tech Habits

As a professional in the software industry, I am just as guilty as many of you are of committing 7 of these worst tech habits. But together, we can learn to be better!

1. Leaving equipment in plain sight: This seems too simple to be a problem, but for a lot of us, those brief forgetful moments or short breaks to the bathroom at a coffee shop can result in a frustrating situation of theft. With the abundance of devices people own, it can be hard to remember that each one is worth hundreds of dollars. Beyond that, the information we now store on our mobile smartphones, tablets, and laptops that can be hacked into and stolen is frightening. This same sentiment goes to office workers using a desktop or laptop: at the end of the day, log out or shut down completely. Leaving your computer vulnerable and unlocked can result in data hacking or deletion which could jeopardize your job and company’s security.

 2. Oblivious gadget usage: It’s easy to point at the younger generations and mock them for having their cell phones glued to their palm at all times. Whether it’s at work, in the classroom, the dinner table: their mobile phones are never apart from their being. Yet, hard as it is to admit, many grown adults are also guilty of constant gadget use. And as much as we try to set a good example, sometimes we do end up texting while driving, or scanning Facebook instead of watching our kid score a soccer goal, and spending time on the computer at home instead of interacting with the other people under our roof. Time to change those habits.

3. Not cleaning your equipment: Our cell phones are in our hands, our pockets, our purses, and rubbing up against the sides of our face throughout the day. But how often do we actually clean that phone..? It probably has more bacteria colonies growing on it than a public restroom’s toilet. Another forgotten piece of equipment is your computer’s keyboard, at home or at work. Take a few minutes to use canned air can to blow out the crumbs, dust, and dirt between the keys. As is described in this PCWorld article: “Dust, dirt, hair, and other debris can build up on fans and heatsinks. Components can come loose or become unseated.” Basically your computer can go to dirt if you let too much dirt accumulate on it.

4. Sitting with bad posture at the computer: This is something everyone is guilty of, no doubt about it. Sure there’s some offices that have stand-up desks, treadmill desks, or exercise ball chairs, but for the rest of us, we just need to remember to sit with the screens at eye level, our wrists and arms straight over the keyboard (not bent, which can lead to carpal tunnel), and shoulders back. You can read more here.

5. Not taking breaks: I always take a lunch break at work, but beyond that, I sometimes forget to give myself breaks from my screen. Studies have shown that constant sitting is very damaging to your health. Try walking around for a couple minutes, standing and doing stretches—anything to break up a full day of sitting on your bottom is good for you! Take short 1-2 minutestretch breaks every 20-30 minutes. After each hour of work, take a break or change tasks for at least 5-10 minutes. Always try to get away from your computer during lunch breaks.

6. Reusing passwords over and over: In today’s world, there are so many online accounts to keep track of, it can be a lot easier to use the same password across multiple accounts. But as we’ve all seen in the news more and more, data hacking and identity thievery is becoming commonplace on the Internet. Two basic solutions for this problem are, first, to keep a spreadsheet to contain the necessary (user name, password, email, website, etc.) to keep organized. You can “Password Protect” this sheet, using a master password that you will never forget for as long as you live! The second solution a lot of people use is a one-stop-shop password application like 1Password or LastPass that gives users a safe way to have a “safe” full of personal data that you don’t want laying around the house or office.

SafeErase Right

Another tip from us is to regularly schedule deletions of your deleted data, temporary files, and Internet search history using Laplink’s SafeErase. It uses six government-level deletion methods to permanently erase your data so that it is unrecoverable, even if a hacker uses the most sophisticated recovery software. Your data will be gone.

7. Failing to back up data: This is another scenario where you don’t want to be caught unaware. While most of the time our computers are reliable, and our data is safe, it only takes one time to make the idea of losing everything on your PC a living nightmare. By being proactive about your backup habits, you can protect yourself against complete data loss. And with Windows 10’s release, you can also take an image of the entire PC’s contents, including the operating system, using Laplink’s DiskImage software. DiskImage makes a mirror copy of your PC’s data content, OS, and anything else you select, and saves it to an external disk. You can schedule regular back-ups to run in the background while you’re using your PC, and it will never tamper with your computer’s performance. But that way, you’ll always have the latest version of your computer’s personality and contents backed up to an external disk just in case.

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This concludes our list of 7 bad tech habits, though there are plenty more we can think of! What are your bad tech habits? Share on Facebook and Twitter.

Series: 5 Tips for Software Developers (Part 3)

Jack Wilson, Laplink Software’s Chief Technology Officer, has 30 years of experience in a wide variety of software development projects and is a seasoned software developer. In the final post of this 3-part series, Jack expounds on his last two tips for software developers he would give to interested parties applying to work on his team.

TIP 4: Beware of getting “stuck” in one area

It’s certainly not bad being an “expert” in something, but if that’s all you know and that technology goes away–then what? I remember working on a long term Air Defense system that was mainly written in FORTRAN. The project got cancelled and all of us had to find new positions. The work I was doing was written in ‘C’ and on embedded processors. I had no problem finding a new position. The mainframe FORTRAN guys were not so lucky.

I am also probably one of maybe a handful of people who can say they helped write implementations of DecNet, Netware, and TCP/IP for embedded systems. (Right now, there is one gray-haired guy in a ponytail someplace reading this who is thinking “Cool dude” and the rest have no idea what I’m talking about.) But that brings up a point, besides new advances in hardware and technology, there are tons of things that have also gone obsolete. Ever see a punch card? What happened to all those AOL floppy disks that used to come in the mail? Engineers don’t often think about that.

TIP 5: Make your hobby your job.

The last thing you want to do is wake up in the morning thinking, “I don’t want to go to work.” The best job is the one where you can’t sleep at night because you want to get back at it. However, don’t become so obsessed that life passes you by. Stop worrying about money.

That concludes our series of tips for software developers! If you have anything you’d like to add, leave a comment on Laplink Software’s Facebook page!

Series: 5 Tips for Software Developers (Part 2)

Jack Wilson, Laplink Software’s Chief Technology Officer, has 30 years of experience in a wide variety of software development projects and is a seasoned software developer. He has extensive experience developing network devices and network-enabled applications. Jack’s professional skills were honed at leading companies, including Networks Northwest Inc., Boeing Defense and Space Group, and Westinghouse.

As the manager for the tech department at Laplink, Jack expounds on his 5 tips for software developers he would give to interested parties applying to work on his team. This is the second post of the series, so stay tuned for the last post.

TIP 2: Always think about what will make something better.

If you come up with something and you find out someone has already done it, then see if you can do it better. If no one has, then do it! There have been many companies that were started by someone who just found a better way of doing something, and they were the ones to succeed. The most fun I ever had in my career was working at a small startup; I was the fifth employee. We worked hard and created a great product. Unfortunately, we were unable to get our costs down to a competitive level and so the company ultimately failed. However, even though the company didn’t succeed, it was still a great time and a really great learning experience.

Having tunnel vision in your field can be debilitating for your future as a software developer. It’s always important to stay abreast of your competitive landscape from a product perspective. Because you want to make sure that your product is better than everyone else’s. Communicate regularly with your team’s project manager to better understand what your competition is doing, and see if you can’t make it better.

TIP 3: Software is not only limited to the PC, Mac, or tablet.

Software is now in everything and will keep growing immensely. Another misconception is that everything has a screen; more and more, screenless devices are part of the Internet of Things. My advice is to learn to do embedded software; it can be a real challenge. Pick up a Raspberry Pi or Arduino and play with it for a while just to see what you can learn. It will help you when you’re applying for software developer and programmer jobs.

But be wary whatever the new fad is. Engineers love to play with whatever is the new thing, which is okay as long as it is the right solution for the job. Otherwise, you are wasting time and money for your company, yourself.

Stay tuned for the final post in this series!

Series: 5 Tips for Software Developers

With the rapid evolution of technology, the demand for software developers and engineers is growing. Software has woven itself tightly into daily lives; programmers and developers have almost guaranteed job security.

The job outlook for software developers in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is growing at a rate of 22%: faster than the average career. With an undergrad degree and computer programming skills, college grads are hired out of school earning a much higher starting salary than almost any other profession that does not require more than a BA.

But while this is an exciting time to study software development, young graduates and newcomers to the industry might lose sight of their goals, or get lost in the shiny haze of new opportunities that are coming at them as fast as technology is changing.

Jack Wilson, Laplink Software’s Chief Technology Officer, has 30 years of experience in a wide variety of software development projects from radar and air defense systems to commercial software. He is a seasoned software developer and has extensive experience developing network devices and network-enabled applications. Jack’s professional skills were honed at leading companies, including Networks Northwest Inc., Boeing Defense and Space Group, and Westinghouse.

As the manager for the tech department at Laplink, Jack expounds on his 5 tips for software developers he would give to interested parties applying to work on his team. This series will be broken into 3 posts, so stay tuned for the next two posts, also.

TIP 1: Don’t just get into something just because it’s the “in” thing.

Get into something that you can be truly passionate about. In the late 1990’s everyone who could spell “www” got jobs creating web pages. By 2001 most of them lost their jobs, except those who were passionate. They became even better. Something that has vastly advanced in the last 20 years is the Internet. I remember telling one of my engineers back in the early 1990s to go get this Mozilla browser thing and look into what this World Wide Web “thing” was all about. In those days, smaller companies had networks running Novell Netware. The really big companies networks ran Digital’s DecNet on mainframes. (Those networks don’t even exist anymore.) Companies connected offices to each other using state-of-the-art “modems” sending about 300 bits per second.

To give you an idea of how slow that is by current standards, my home Internet today is connected at 50 Mega-bits per second: it is 166,666 times faster than what we used in the nineties, and I still complain that the Internet is slow!

Laplink & Webroot Product Bundle

Laplink Software, Inc. announced today our partnership with Webroot to provide a software bundle to users purchasing a new Windows 10 PC this holiday season.
Webroot is the market leader in intelligent cybersecurity for endpoints and collective threat intelligence. In partnership with Laplink, the two companies will boost their consumer offerings by bundling Webroot SecureAnywhere® Internet Security with PCmover Express to make cybersecurity and new PC setup easy—just in time for the holiday shopping season.
PCmover Express moves files and settings from an old Windows PC to a new Windows 10 PC quickly and easily. Take a look at the press release and email me your questions or interview requests for ThomasKoll, Laplink CEO.Thank you for your interest in Laplink Software! Connect with Laplink on social media: Twitter // Facebook // LinkedIn
Shireen McCleary
Public Relations Manager
Laplink Software, Inc.
shireen.mccleary@laplink.com
+1 (425) 952-6027

Tips for Transferring Files to Windows 10

Moving to a new PC is quite a challenge as Windows 10 has no tools to accomplish this task. For many users, getting their data files such as photos, videos, music, email, contacts, spreadsheets, documents, etc. to their new PC is a major concern and may even result in the delay of purchasing a new PC.

There are four basic options a user can choose from to move data files to a new PC:

1. Upload files from the old PC to cloud storage (Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, etc.) Now the user can easily access these files from anywhere and download the files to their new PC. But if the user has a lot of data, the upload will take a very long time – and, their data might exceed available storage.
2. Transfer using a USB stick or external hard drive.
3. Transfer across a network user Explorer by sharing the old hard drive to the new PC.
4. Use a file transfer utility.

The key problem to all of the above options is that the user must know what they desire to transfer, must know where the data is located on the old PC, and must manage the process. The secondary problem is that there’s a good chance the user really wants more than just data files which they might not realize. A typical user will miss quite a bit of data – perhaps they leave behind their Outlook data, files they accidentally saved in an unusual location, data related to a specific application that was saved in the application’s folder (such as tax files), Internet favorites, shortcuts, and much more.

Laplink offers a better option. PCmover Professional is the only software that can selectively move programs, files and settings from an old Windows PC to a new PC. It’s fast, easy, and powerful.

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  • Simply install PCmover on both of the computers and follow the simple wizard to transfer everything desired to the new PC.
  • Users don’t need to know where the location of their files; PCmover knows and will find and transfer all files a user wants regardless of where they were saved.
  • PCmover transfers more than just data files. It also automatically transfers all selected programs and settings. And programs are transferred ready to use on the new PC so a user doesn’t need to reinstall them or find old CDs or license keys.
  • PCmover transfers using any home or business network (wired or wireless) or using a direct-connect (Laplink High Speed Transfer Cable.
  • Once a user completes the short wizard, they walk away and PCmover does the rest.
  • Laplink also provides free 24/7 transfer assistance from certified PC migration experts who will guide the user through the transfer over the phone or by remote control.
  • Laplink also offers PCmover Enterprise which leverages the PCmover technology to allows IT departments to easily set up and manage controlled PC deployment projects for one thousand to hundreds of thousands of PCs. Organizations using PCmover Enterprise typically save over $300 per PC deployed by reducing deployment labor, post-migration support and help desk calls, as well as user down time – and end user satisfaction is higher.
  • If a user is certain they only want to copy data files, Laplink Sync is an easy and powerful solution that will transfer files between PCs, Macs, Android and iOS devices utilizing a 3-step wizard. Files are transferred directly between devices to protect privacy (i.e., no copies exist in cloud storage). Laplink Sync can be used to transfer files or to keep files synchronized between devices.