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Should You Disconnect Your BackUp

Will disconnecting your backup – give you added protection against Ransomware encryption?–PC Pitstop.

Should You Disconnect Your BackUp

By Leo Notenboom

Question:I keep hearing of viruses that encrypt your hard drive, and even the files on your external hard drive. Doesn’t that mean that my backups would be encrypted as well? Friends are telling me I should disconnect my backup drive when I’m not using it, but that doesn’t feel right either. What should I do?

My opinion is that you run a higher risk of not being backed up if you disconnect the drive than you do having your backups encrypted by ransomware.

Put another way: leave the drive connected and continue to let your backups run automatically.

I’ll explain why I feel that way, and what you can do to mitigate the risk of ransomware.


Ransomware is malicious software – a class of virus – that, when it infects your machine, encrypts your files and then holds them ransom by extorting a cash payment for the decryption key.

To date, without the decryption key, the files cannot be recovered. The individuals behind this malware are using good, strong encryption to do the deed.

Experts and authorities advise that you never pay the extortioners. It only encourages them to keep on infecting machines and holding them for ransom. I agree.

The best solution, if you find your machine suddenly held hostage, is to simply recover it from the most recent backup, and get on with your day. It works every time.

Unless your backup has been encrypted, that is, which is what has people so scared.

In my opinion, that fear is overblown.

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