Windows 7 Data Security Enhancements

Maintaining data integrity on the PC is a constant job for IT people. Independent businesspeople without the aid of an IT professional worry about this just as much as the IT folks, if not more so, partly because they don’t know what to do when things go south. In addition to the stability improvements listed earlier, there are two areas of significant improvement in data security (outlined here and in Part VII of this book).

• Back up to network drive—On previous Windows versions, the only drives to which you could back up were those attached directly to your PC, either internally or via eSATA or USB. On Windows 7, any network-accessible drive becomes a valid backup target. For those (like us) with a MediaSmart Server already on their home networks, this is fantastic!

• Manage AutoPlay behavior for CDs/DVDs—Recently, worms and viruses triggered by AutoPlay for CDs and DVDs have surfaced on the Internet, primarily in the form of BitTorrent-based ISO downloads. Burn a DVD from such a download, and you’ll contract a virus as soon as you run the setup or other default executable from that image file. Most antivirus programs, and thus most Windows systems, are defenseless against this kind of attack. Windows 7 lets you block AutoPlay behaviors on optical disks, and sidestep this kind of vulnerability. Bravo, Microsoft!

• Create System Repair Disc—To create a bootable DVD that you can use to repair your system, click Create a System Repair Disc in the left column of the Backup and Restore Center and insert a blank DVD. This option is much easier than finding the installation media for Windows Vista—especially if you bought a machine with Windows 7 preinstalled and didn’t get an install disc! To access the Backup and Recovery center, type backup into the Start menu search box, and select that utility from the search results.

• Improved Volume Shadow Copy—Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is responsible for creating restore points and for making copies of files as they change on your system. On Windows Vista, VSS could sometimes impose onerous burdens on a drive: 15% or more might get allocated to the System Volume Information folder (we had a situation once where 120GB on a 750GB drive went into that folder). For Windows 7, shadow copy space is limited to 5% of total drive space for drives over 64GB in size, and 3GB for drives 64GB and under in size. This helps keep shadow copy storage under control by default.

• Include/exclude specific backup folders—When backing up in Windows 7, you now have the option of including or excluding specific folders from the volumes you elect to back up. This provides much greater control over backup content and activity, and allows you to set up and schedule multiple backup tasks to capture different data for each task.

Source of Information : QUE Microsoft Windows in Depth

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