Aug 20, 05:49 PM

You’ve made a list and you’ve checked it twice. No, it’s not December. It is August and you have a child or children returning to school.

With Labor Day on the horizon, you might be facing the challenge of outfitting your children with the latest Fall fashions. Moreover, in today’s world of e-gadgets, a new or used laptop or personal computer may also be on the Back-to-School shopping list.

Here’s some advice for parents.

1) Invest in a good tote bag which protects your child’s laptop along with the notes your future Einstein will take and assignments s/he will complete and store on their laptop’s hard drive (or not complete if they incur a data loss disaster).

2) If you’re giving your child your old laptop or PC, remember to erase the data on the hard drive. Do not assume deleting files or formatting the hard drive wipes the drive clean of files. It does not. You could be sending your child to school with your sensitive, confidential data still on the computer. There are many products available including a free utility, CBL Data Shredder, that received a positive review on Tom’s Hardware Guide’s German edition.

3) There is a new service offering announced last month which is an affordable alternative to paying standard recovery service costs which typically exceed $1000 when physical damage to a hard drive prevents access to files, assignments and lecture notes.

To be eligible, the drive must be functional at the time of purchase and registration. Three years of unlimited data recovery coverage is available for only $99.99. For parents or students on a budget, that computes to pennies a day.

4) When your child goes off to college, do you remind him/her to call home at a designated hour each week? It is a good habit to practice like scheduling and regularly backing up your computer. In fact, the entire family should get in this habit and backup all the computers in the family whether it’s Mom’s PC in the kitchen, Dad’s Mac in the den, or John’s or Jane’s laptop in their bedroom or dorm.

5) Speaking of dorms or any room, keep beverages away from computers. A spilt beverage can turn into quite the data drama for both students and parents especially when you’re not in the same city.

The daily grind of commuting on public transit and the hustle and bustle on campus may expose laptops to unintentional mishandling and accidental physical damage.

Laptops or notebooks are often referred to as ‘mobile computers’, but that doesn’t mean they should be moved while powered up. The drive is spinning. You do not want the fragile read/write heads to crash and possibly damage the platter containing the term paper due the following day, nevermind the lecture notes. However, if that happens call a professional data recovery company. After all, everyone’s goal – student or parent – is to occupy a seat at the ‘head’ of the class.

Category: helpful hints, data loss prevention

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