Paragon Software Group Releases Hard Disk Manager Version 16 with Redesigned UI, New Backup Wizards and 35 Key Features for Home Users!

Paragon Software Group releases the latest edition of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 16 – a complete all-in-one software to protect, maintain, and manage PC data. This software assembles more than thirty advanced data management technologies, including partitioning, boot correction, file and image backup, disk copying, secure data wiping (including on SSDs), and flexible recovery options. Even more, the most essential easy-to-use backup and recovery functionality is available free of charge — including Recovery Media Builder in case of data loss. Additional backup and partitioning features are available at the cost for advanced users. The new release offers a completely redesigned, intuitive UI, new handy graphics to represent feature sets, and advanced functionality to accomplish system and data management tasks easier than ever. Complete backup strategies save time and effort in configuring regular backup jobs for entire computers, individual volumes, or files. In addition to regular backups, the new release allows users to restore older copies of data files from archives created by earlier software editions.

The latest edition of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 16 also provides advanced users full control via additional backup strategy settings. The new Create Backup Job Wizard makes complex backup processes simple and ultra-fast, allowing users to define automatic backup jobs by selecting from predefined strategies. Create Backup Job Wizard has several built-in automatic backup strategies to choose from, or users can create their own. When creating your own backup strategies, users specify the start time (daily, weekly, monthly, or at specific events, such as system start or user login), adjust the number of increments created, define a strategy for deleting old archives, and control other options, such as shutting down the PC after backup. Another handy new feature is the creation of network connections, which are used to save backups on networked storage.

Despite the name, Paragon Hard Disk Manager is not only great for hard disk drives but also for solid state drives (SSDs) and virtual disks. This utility helps the home user backup and restore anything with an exact replica of a selected partition or system disk; manage partitions; permanently wipe sensitive data; and migrate specific files or the entire operating system to different storage devices. In the event of data loss, powerful restore options allow users to easily recover anything from the full system to individual files or folders. In case of boot-related problems like file system corruption or hard drive failure, the free Recovery Media Builder included in the basic version helps users create a backup that might later restore files in case booting into Windows the normal way is not possible. Most importantly, if ransomware or other malware encrypts files, the user can safely recover data using the Recovery Media Builder and restore the system to normal quickly and effortlessly.

Key features:

  • Supports Windows 10 Fall Creators Update;
  • Complete backup strategies save time and effort when configuring regular backup jobs for entire computers, individual volumes, or files;
  • Fast and safe migrations of Windows OS single partitions or entire disks to new storage devices, even those of smaller capacity;
  • Easiest, fastest, and most rock-solid drive partitioning of physical and virtual hard disk drives on the market;
  • Fix most boot issues in a couple of minutes without turning to restore or other advanced actions;
  • Permanent irreversible data erasure from any storage media type with SSD Trimming and wiping algorithms;
  • Completely new UI helps manage systems easier than ever;
  • Define scenario-based backup jobs;
  • Quick standalone/single time backups;
  • All wizards redesigned to cover more scenarios. The new UI combines wizards into modules representing a specific feature set to guide users to the right selection:

Backup & Recovery:

  • Create single backup;
  • Create backup job;
  • Restore backup;
  • File Transfer Wizard.

Partition Manager:

  • Undelete partitions;
  • Split partition;
  • Redistribute free space;
  • Merge partitions;

Disk Wiper:

  • Wipe disks or partitions;

Drive Copy:

  • Migrate (with Copy HDD and Copy partition);
  • Redesigned Express view provides ad hoc access to all wizards, each organized by color;
  • Direct control over partitioning: Move and resize partitions via drag and drop in “My Computer” disk map view or launch specific tasks via dialog:
  • Test partition surface;
  • Change primary slots;
  • Convert file system;
  • Set partition as active/inactive;
  • Convert to MBR/GPT disk;
  • Change volume label;
  • Format volume;
  • Delete volume;
  • Check File System integrity;
  • Create volume;
  • Move partition;
  • Resize partition;
  • Change drive letter;
  • Hide/unhide partition;
  • Make partition Active/Inactive;
  • Convert to logical/primary;
  • View/Edit sectors;
  • Compact MFT;
  • Defragment MFT;
  • Change partition serial number;
  • Connect virtual disk.
  • Redesigned “Show advanced properties dialog;”
  • Separate whole computer backup scenario allows users to back up all data on a PC worry-free in just three clicks;
  • Restore several objects (disks, partitions, files) in a single pass without repeatedly running wizards multiple times;
  • Fast migration to new HDDs & SSDs.

Additional functionality is also available for $79.95. Differences between basic and advanced functionality can be found at https://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-windows/#features

System requirements:

Windows 7 SP1 and later.

Availability:

Paragon Hard Disk Manager Version 16 is available for free download at https://www.paragon-software.com/home/hdm-windows/ Basic functionality is available free of charge. Advanced functionality is available for $79.95.

Paragon NTFS for Mac 15 supports macOS 10.13 High Sierra and is now available as a free update to all Paragon NTFS for Mac 15 customers!

Paragon NTFS for Mac is the industry’s fastest, high-performance, multilingual utility that solves interoperability issues between macOS and Windows. The 15th edition announced earlier this year comes with a completely new, ultra-fast engine guaranteeing advanced support of the latest NTFS file systems, including Windows 10 system compression. The new UI makes is easier than ever to access information and manage the system. Now Paragon NTFS for Mac 15 provides full fledged read and write support of NTFS formatted volumes on macOS High Sierra and is available for download at https://www.paragon-software.com/landing-pages/ntfs-mac/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=ntfs14-15-en&utm_campaign=rss-ntfs14-15-en

 

Redistributing free space on NTFS partitions has never been easier!

Paragon Software Group has released a new edition of Paragon CampTune, a utility for redistribution of disk space between HFS+ or APFS (Apple File System) and NTFS partitions on macOS systems.

With just one slider, dual-boot users can instantly allocate more disk space to either macOS or Windows operating systems. Paragon CampTune is the first Paragon macOS product to support Apple’s APFS. The update also offers a host ofnew features, including System Integrity Protection (SIP) management, which allows users to selectively disable individual parameters for this security option.

Paragon CampTune is available for $19.95 at https://www.paragon-software.com/home/camptune/ Current Paragon Camptune X users can buy an upgrade to Paragon CampTune with a 50% discount.

High on Sierra: Apple’s WWDC 2017

This year’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) brings us, as usual, a new version of macOS. Despite various suggestions for what to christen this forthcoming update, Apple tricked everyone and chose a most unexpected name: macOS High Sierra. The similarity to the current macOS Sierra hints at the minor improvements most users will see. However, there are many bigger changes under the hood.

With High Sierra, Apple claims its Safari web browser is faster than all competitors, and presented various benchmarks as evidence. This bold statement was followed by the introduction of Intelligent Tracking Prevention — a feature that means Safari now has content blocking built-in, automatically halting those annoying auto-play ads with sound in their tracks. Safari will also be more privacy conscious, blocking attempts to access cookies on your Mac that are deemed to be an invasion of privacy.

The Photos app also received a few improvements. With better facial recognition and a persistent sidebar, it’s easier to search for objects and scenes, or filter your library more intelligently. If you don’t have Adobe Photoshop installed or don’t want to spend your time poking around inside complicated editing software, High Sierra brings simple but helpful photo-editing tools to Photos, which sync across all your devices. Live Photos can be edited with special effects, while the Memories section of the app is a more intelligent and thoughtful curator of your memoirs.

Photos app WWDC 2017

Apple has also tweaked Mail.app, bringing full-screen, split-window support and better organization with improved Spotlight search that will serve up the most relevant results first.

The macOS update also encouraged Apple to move to the H.625 video standard, with support for improved 4K playback and efficient decoding of ultra-high-resolution video content. Those improvements are coupled with the launch of a new graphics API for developers: Metal 2, which is more efficient than its predecessor (up to 10x in many cases), with support for VR content.

Finally, the Apple File System makes it’s debut with High Sierra. APFS is a next-generation file system for Apple products based upon the iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS software platforms, which now covers devices from the diminutive Apple Watch all the way up to Mac Pro. It’s optimized for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals.

Apple claims APFS vastly accelerates the speed of actions like duplicating large files, while boasting improved performance, security, and reliability. All users who upgrade should see noticeable gains in day-to-day use.

To celebrate this news, we’re offering big savings for our powerful application that covers all aspects of the computer’s life cycle: Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac is now available with a 20% off discount! HDM for Mac includes drive partitioning, file system optimization and repair functions, data backup capabilities, irreversible data wiping, and much more.

macOS High Sierra is available as a public beta for early adopters in June from beta.apple.com, and is currently free to download for all Mac developers at developer.apple.com. The new macOS 10.13 will arrive as a full release for all users with compatible Macs and MacBooks this autumn.

Important Tips on Protecting Your System and Data Against WannaCry and Ransomware Attacks

Past few days we all have been following the breaking news on the fast-spreading WannaCry ransomware affecting globally hundreds of thousands PC systems around the world, and are wondering what is this virus and whether your computer system and data might be at risk. WannaCry, like any ransomware is a computer virus that usually spreads via spam emails and malicious download links. The virus is designed to lock up computer files and the ultimate goal is to blackmail the affected user until the victim pays the ransom demand, usually $300-$500 in Bitcoins.

Wana_Decrypt0r_screenshot
Screenshot of the ransom note left on an infected system

WannaCry is especially malicious because it spreads itself and doesn’t even require the user to click any link or open a file. Now most of us wonder how to make your system and data secure.

Planning your data protection and recovery strategy is essential to any PC user. This awareness guide will help you be cautious and save your valuable data on PC from WannaCry or any other potential ransomware threat. In addition to installing anti-virus software like Kaspersky or similar solutions, every PC user should implement stringent backup controls with snapshots to increase safety from attacks and prevent possible data loss. Since this widely spread global cyber-attack is just one of many to hit users, reliable system and data backup is always the key to protect against such malware threats.

Countries_affected_in_WannaCry_ransomware_attack
Map of the countries initially affected by the virus

The following advisory on WannaCry ransomware will help prevent data loss and in case of a disaster recover it fast:

1. Backup your computer with the reliable backup solution.
2. Update your Windows OS with Microsoft’s latest fix.
3. B careful of opening any unknown emails, websites and apps.
4. Use anti-virus protection software in conjunction with a firewall.

To help users protect their systems and valuable data, this week Paragon Software Group started offering all new and existing customers of Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Suite and Paragon Hard Disk Manager 15 Professional – the all-inclusive data management tools with full Windows 10 Creators Update support, Br16-protect-restoreParagon Backup & Recovery 16 software absolutely free of charge. This essential tool can be used alongside Paragon Hard Disk Manager for stronger backup functionality, or separately on other devices.

Stay safe and always backup your system.

NTFS For Mac 15 Preview: A New Perspective on Windows Partitions

It finally happened: We’re releasing a preview version of Paragon NTFS for Mac 15! Two years have passed since version 14, during which time we’ve gathered a lot of feedback from you. So, let us proudly present a fresh version of our well-known Mac software utility that eliminates boundaries with the Windows operating systems, enabling full read and write access to Windows-formatted drives on macOS.

  • New file system driver engine

The new edition comes with a robust new engine that guarantees advanced support of the latest NTFS file systems such as Windows 10 system compression and provides even faster, more transparent access to NTFS partitions under macOS.

  • Completely redesigned UI

We’ve designed the new UI based on your requests and feedback. Now all product functionality and options have been migrated from the previous System Preference Pane to a standalone macOS application:

bootcamp-volume-light

A menubar application provides quick information on mounted volumes, as well as startup and verify options:

ntfs-mac-15-preview

Here’s what it looks from the macOS Finder:

app-tray-menu-ntfs-prevew

Based on your feedback, we’ve also added support for two color themes: Dark and Light.

bootcamp-volume-light
bootcamp-volume-dark
 

  • New mount options

The first option, “Mount in read-only mode,” denies write access to the selected volume to keep sensitive data intact. The second, “Do not mount automatically,”  prevents a volume from being mounted automatically on system startup or when the storage device is reconnected.

preferences-ntfs-preview-paragon
 

  • Support for Spotlight indexing

Spotlight is a search feature of Apple’s desktop and mobile operating systems designed to quickly locate specific data including documents, music, and pictures. Spotlight also delivers other benefits, including quick access to definitions from the built-in dictionary. This feature is helpful without compromising performance by working periodically in the background. A major re-indexing only occurs after a major OS update.

  • New OS Boot manager

The program detects all bootable volumes available on the system, allowing you to choose the one you’d like to boot from. After selecting a startup volume, you can choose whether to restart your Mac from it immediately or postpone the operation until next time.

Thanks to your feedback, we have managed to create a great utility you’re sure to love. Please give it a try, and feel free to provide us with any thoughts or ideas about this new release. It’s free to use until September 1st, 2017, so click here to download the latest version, or check your MyParagon account if you already own a previous version.

What Is Secure Boot, and How to Solve “Unsigned Driver” Issue in Windows 10 Anniversary Update

We just want to let you know that we fixed “Secure Boot” issue in the latest update of HFS+ for Windows 11. We explain what was the hindrance down below.  By the way, HFS+ for Windows 11 is a part of  Paragon UFSD Value Pack for cross-platform users, that goes with lifetime upgrade assurance. More info at the end of the article.

Modern PCs start up with the “Secure Boot” feature, part of the UEFI firmware that replaced traditional BIOS.

BIOS is a computer’s Basic Input-Output System — low-level software that resides on a chip built into the motherboard. BIOS’s job is to start up various components when you turn on your PC, make sure they’re functioning, then pass functionality off to your operating system or another boot loader. Prior to 1981, computers used very different ways to perform this operation, until IBM presented the 5150 that became standard for hardware compatibility

IBM 5150 used a 16-bit Intel 8088 processor, matching the BIOS itself which allowed 1MB of address space. It also used a Master Boot Record (MBR) to specify the computer’s partition table, which in turn told BIOS where the operating system was.

BIOS was a good system, providing an interface where you could enable or disable individual components and advanced hardware options. But as time passed, BIOS obsolesced compared to the newer hardware in development. To make up for its shortcomings, extensions were developed. But over time, the limitations had to be overcome by a brand-new system.

old bios

uefi

UEFI soon inherited BIOS’s legacy. Unified Extensible Firmware Interface was originally developed by Intel to circumvent BIOS issues for their 64-bit Itanium-based servers. Many changes were made compared to BIOS.

First, the visual layout was fundamentally overhauled. While pictures aren’t necessary, they can be helpful for things like overclocking. Second, UEFI can function in 32-bit and 64-bit modes, allowing far greater amounts of RAM to be addressed by more complex processes; by comparison, BIOS was limited to 16-bit processes and 1MB of memory addressing. Third, UEFI uses the GUID Partition Table, which utilizes Globally Unique IDs to address partitions, and allows booting from hard disks as large as 9.4ZB (one zettabyte = one billion terabytes), while MBR is limited to four primary partitions per disk and bootable disks are limited in size to 2.2TB.

So, the UEFI “Secure Boot” protocol is one the new features that prevents your PC to boot from “untrusted” firmware.

When you boot your PC, it checks hardware devices against the configured boot order, then attempts to boot from them. Typical PCs will find and boot the Windows bootloader, which then launches the full Windows operating system.

Traditional BIOS will boot any software, and some malwares, such as a rootkit, can replace your bootloader. Rootkits could load your normal operating system with no indication anything was wrong, remaining invisible and undetectable on your system. Secure Boot was designed to prevent this.

win10-architecture unsigned-drivers

UEFI checks the bootloader prior to launching it, ensuring that it’s signed by Microsoft. If a rootkit or another malware has forged or replaced your bootloader, UEFI won’t allow it to boot. This prevents malware from hijacking your boot process and concealing itself inside your operating system.

However, with the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, Microsoft has changed this policy. All new Windows 10 kernel mode drivers must be submitted to the Windows Hardware Developer Center Dashboard portal (Dev Portal) to be digitally signed by Microsoft. If they were not, Windows 10 could fail to load new, unsigned kernel drivers. Thus, when you install the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, some drivers may not work the way they used to. For instance, our driver Paragon HFS+ for Windows 11 used to require “Secure Boot” disabled, but we fixed it by having it officially signed by Microsoft. 

Anyhow, this issue might affect others, so we show you a workaround in case you encounter it. You can disable the “Secure Boot” feature by following these steps:

1) Open the PC BIOS menu by pressing a key during the boot-up sequence, such as F1, F2, F12, or Esc (depending on your PC), or hold down the Shift key while selecting Restart while Windows is running.

2) Go to Troubleshoot -> Advanced Options -> UEFI Firmware Settings.

3) Find the Secure Boot setting and set it to Disabled. This option is typically found in either the Security tab, the Boot tab, or the Authentication tab.

4) Save changes and reboot your PC.

In conclusion, while Secure Boot does create a safer environment for users by preventing the installation of malicious driver software, not every honest developer has yet managed to pass through Microsoft’s registration process for a variety of reasons.

P.S. We have an awesome pack of five useful drivers for cross-platform users – Paragon UFSD (Universal File System Driver) Value Pack. It has been developed for users working with multiple operating systems to instantly solve compatibility issues. The UFSD Value Pack comes with a lifetime free upgrade guarantee, and is available for just $49.95 — a savings of nearly $100 compared to purchasing the included tools separately. For existing Paragon NTFS for Mac 14 customers, the UFSD Value Pack is available for just $19.95 in their personal MyParagon accounts. For all users with NTFS for Mac 12 version and lower the final bundle price is $24.95.

Check out your offer now >>

Meet the first on the market – Paragon exFAT for Android, the Result of Partnership Between Paragon Software and Microsoft!

We are pleased to announce Paragon exFAT for Android – the industry’s first consumer edition of the exFAT (Extended File Allocation System) file system technology for Android.

As a component of the newly updated Paragon USB Plugin for Total Commander, Paragon exFAT for Android offers instant, non-root, offline access to exFAT data from external storage drives directly on Android smartphones and tablets. For better on-the-go organization and easy mobile access, Paragon exFAT for Android allows users to easily view, backup, copy, and edit important documents, photos, videos, music, and other files between Android mobile devices and portable hard drives or flash drives. For this tool, Paragon Software Group is partnering with Microsoft.

“We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft by bringing to the market the industry’s first consumer edition of exFAT file system support and to make it available directly to Android users. One of the most difficult areas of cross-platform computing still remains data sharing between incompatible systems. While networking between the operating systems has become a lot easier, storage sharing is still problematical because of patented file system limitations,” said Paragon Software Group’s CEO Konstantin Komarov.

For many users who want to travel light, smartphones and tablets have already replaced laptops. Previously available only as a license-based solution for OEMs, now for the first time this technology is available to Android consumers who require data access to previously incompatible storage devices directly on their mobile devices.

total-commander-plugin

“Microsoft is pleased that this new partnership with cross-platform software developer Paragon Software will offer mobile consumers more options and flexibility. By enabling file sharing across operating systems, this agreement demonstrates Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to empower customers and businesses to achieve even more,” said Microsoft’s Vice President and Associate General Counsel Micky Minhas.

Paragon exFAT for Android is based on Paragon Software Group’s exclusive Universal File System Driver (UFSD) technology, which enables any device to communicate and share files regardless of operating system. The technology incorporates portable implementation support for USB Mass Storage Stack. Beyond access, Paragon UFSD technology provides the highest data throughput speeds possible — equivalent to, or exceeding, native performance.

exfat-fat32-android

Paragon exFAT for Android is available as a technology component of the newly updated Paragon USB Plugin for Total Commander for Android device users, as well as for licensing to OEMs and ODMs as components of Paragon Storage SDK for Android.

For more details about new technologies and evaluation options, please visit the company’s website or contact technology@paragon-software.com

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Introducing new Paragon Protect and Restore VM Copy Tool

Are you an administrator or a service provider who maintains VMware virtual infrastructures? Need to create an ad-hoc virtual machine backup with minimal time and effort? Or are you looking for an effective way of copying VMs between VMware installations? Take a look at Paragon’s brand new Protect and Restore VM Copy Tool.

Unlike other solutions, VM Copy Tool fully encapsulates the target VM, including its current state, all available snapshots, and connected external devices. It does the job even if you don’t use clusters or shared storage, and when vMotion technology isn’t allowed on your VMware license. By leveraging the native VMware NFC (Network File Copy) and Paragon’s data transfer technology, Protect and Restore VM Copy Tool can deploy multiple virtual machines or individual files from one ESX(i) host or vCenter to another in one simple action. Best of all, VM Copy Tool is free* to use.

Easy Ad-hoc VM Backup

VM Copy Tool is ideal when you need to create a full backup of a Linux or Windows virtual machine residing on any version of ESX(i) or vCenter from 4.1 Update 3 to 6.5, including its current state, all available snapshots, and connected external devices. You can choose any mounted local or network disks available to the system as a backup location with only a few guided mouse clicks.

VM backup ad-havoc

To minimize network traffic and storage requirements, contents of the target machine are double compressed during the process: First when creating data streams, then again by archiving streams into a .zip file. To avoid unauthorized access, VM files are not exported in their original state, but as a set of secure data containers with GUID names, that can’t be parsed by third-party tools.

The only requirement is that VMs must be powered off or suspended before creating ad-hoc backup.

Unique VM Migration Capabilities

If you don’t use shared storage or clusters, or your hypervisor’s license doesn’t include VMware vMotion technology, it’s a challenge to migrate virtual machines from one host to another. Sure, you can use VMware Converter or export virtual machines to a “middleman” system, then re-import them into the destination host, but that could take hours and only works with Windows-based guest systems. There are third-party tools on the market to help ease this pain, but if you are looking for real relief, try our free Paragon Protect and Restore VM Copy Tool.

VM Migration

Compared to paid VMware vMotion and third-party applications that utilize similar technology, VM Copy Tool doesn’t move VMs to the target host, but creates clones that include not only the current state, but an entire snapshot tree with connected external devices, e.g. ISO-images. VM Copy Tool does the job even if the source and target hardware platforms are completely different. And did we mention it’s free* to use and doesn’t require vMotion in your virtual infrastructure?

To recap:

  • VM Copy Tool is the only solution on the market that encapsulates not only the current state of a virtual machine, but also an entire snapshot tree
  • VM Copy Tool is the only solution on the market that easily migrates so-called “linked clones,” saving valuable hours once spent on tedious manual operations
  • VM Copy Tool is the only solution on the market that copies virtual machines between isolated virtual infrastructures
  • VM Copy Tool helps to achieve your goals even if the source and target hardware platforms are completely different

Want to learn more about Paragon Protect and Restore VM Copy Tool? Please visit our website.

* Available free of charge for non-profit usage inside a company only. Paragon Protect & Restore VM Copy Tool is also a component of Standard and Enterprise HDM Technician Licenses. If you would like to use this tool to provide commercial IT services for third-parties, please, consider buying Paragon Technician License.

Basic Ransomware Prevention: How Data Backups Can Save Your System From Hackers

Over the past few years, millions of PCs from around the world have been locked or had their files encrypted as a result of devious malware.
According to Kaspersky Security Bulletin, in 2015 there were 1,966,324 registered notifications for attempted malware infections aiming to steal money via online access to bank accounts. Various ransomware programs were detected on 753,684 computers of unique users; more than 179,000 computers were targeted by encryption ransomware.

In April 2016, CNN Money reported new estimates from the FBI that revealed the costs from so-called ransomware have reached an all-time high. Cyber-criminals collected $209 million in the first three months of 2016 by extorting businesses and institutions to unlock computer servers.

Of course, those big numbers don’t usually affect us, regular users, but we still have our fair share of parasitic programs to be worried about.

One of the newest malwares looks like a pop-up message in Safari that signs: “Your Apple Computer has been blocked. Mac iOS alert! System might be infected due to unexpected error! Suspicious Activity Detected. Your Browser might be hijacked or hacked.” It gives you an 800 number to call and the person on the other end of the line offers you to share your screen and tries to sell you $200-cost security software.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac

That kind of ‘warning’ message is a common form of malware itself. The problem is that the pop-up appears every time you try to reopen Safari, and it’s impossible to dismiss the pop-up and then access Safari settings before the pop-up reappears. So how do you access Safari and make sure this doesn’t happen again?

Oddly, there’s no way to reset Safari’s settings from outside of the app. First, try the most standard ways to work around a malicious webpage in your browser.

– Launch Safari with the “shift” key held down. This should prevent Safari from opening the pages from the last session.

– Load Safari, then Control-click on its icon in the Dock and choose Force Quit. Try this a couple of times and Safari may get the message that there’s something wrong on startup and start without loading anything.

– Update to El Capitan or Sierra if you haven’t already. Apple added a lot more malware protection in the new OSes, including fixes that stop many browser-based hijack methods.

– Disconnect the computer from the Internet. If there’s no malware hosted locally, the pop-up can only be generated by loading a remote webpage that’s set as the home page. Open your Safari preferences and check, if your home page had been set to an unknown domain. Delete that URL from your Safari settings and turn the Wi-Fi connection back on.

However, the most efficient way to protect yourself is to back up your system to the state before malware hit your machine.

For example, the most recent hacker attack on the San Francisco transit system, in which hackers tried to extort about $73,000 from the transit service in exchange for giving back control of their computer system, ended up relatively well. That’s because Muni, which runs San Francisco’s bus, light rail and trolley car systems, had a backup of its system and, as a consequence, no customer data was stolen.

One of the most popular backup tools is Time Machine – the built-in utility for Mac, introduced with OS X Leopard. Time Machine works at the file level, which is inefficient when dealing with an active operating system and running applications. Files should be unlocked or closed for proper backup, which is not an option with most system files and those used by currently running apps.

Time Machine waits until user applications are closed and locked files become available to process, ignoring system files completely. That’s why OS X has a two-step restore procedure: The user first reinstalls the operating system before retrieving application and user files from the backup image.

There’s a better backup approach based on system snapshots, which considerably reduces backup and recovery times. Snapshot is like taking a photo of your file system, excluding changes made after that point. They will still be present on your hard drives and will be included with the future backups, but not the current one. That’s exactly why this is the only backup method that can be used to protect an active operating system. Additionally, although Time Machine waits until running applications are closed and locked files become available, the backup operation obviously takes more time than if it’s done with a snapshot-based utility.

To illustrate the difference, we performed an internal lab test, comparing the brand new Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac against Time Machine and another popular file-level backup solution (test results and graphics are available upon request).

Paragon_Hard_Disk_Manager

Paragon HDM for Mac is designed to create instant copies of a disk (or several disks) at a specific point in time. This technology takes consistent snapshots of both inactive and in-use partitions. Unlike Time Machine, HDM provides snapshot-based backup and operates at the sector level, achieving superior performance and speed.

As you can see from the graph above, it takes Hard Disk Manager far less time to back up 9.15 Gb of information than Time Machine or a similar solution. HDM for Mac comes with improved snapshot technology, enabling consistent image backups even as the data is being modified at that moment.

So, if you want your Mac to be malware-proof – always back it up! By backing up your system, you save valuable information and a lot of time should you need to restore.

Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac

  • System Integrity Protection in OS X 10.11
    El Capitan support;
  • Sector-level backup for best perfomance and backup/recovery speed;
  • Move, resize, undelete partitions and modify their properties;
    • Migrate Windows OS from one Mac computer to another;
      • Format volumes in any of the common file systems (NTFS, HFS+, ExtFS, FAT 16/FAT 32 and exFAT);
      • And much more!

Learn more about Paragon Hard Disk Manager for Mac