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If you own one of these external drives, here’s why you should update it ASAP

Considering all the components that go into making your computer work, one of the most important is the hard drive. And by extension, it can often be the addition of even more storage through an external drive.

Because if something goes wrong and you don’t have a backup either locally or in the cloud, you could lose important files forever. Tap or click here for three ways to save lost files from a failing hard drive.

Some external options are more versatile, such as network-attached storage (NAS) drives that allow you to access your files remotely. And if you own certain NAS drives, you need to update its firmware ASAP if you want to keep that access.

Here’s the backstory

Western Digital’s My Cloud OS is its proprietary operating system used by customers to access its lineup of NAS devices remotely, along with other features like security updates. In a recent post, the company announced that it would soon be ending support for My Cloud OS 3.

Western Digital said that it aims to improve its hardware and accompanying software “as security standards evolve.” The decision was made to increase online safety after several security breaches that targeted online storage.

Related: GoDaddy data breach: 1.2M user profiles, including passwords, exposed

Beginning on Jan. 15, 2022, WD’s NAS drives that are compatible with My Cloud OS 5 will no longer support previous generations of the operating system. If users don’t update to the latest version by then, they’ll only be able to access their drives locally. In addition, there will no longer be security updates or tech support for My Cloud OS 3.

Then on April 15, support for previous generations including My Cloud OS 3 will end. That means local access only and no further security updates if you own a NAS drive that’s not compatible with My Cloud OS 5.

What you can do about it

If you haven’t already, it’s best to upgrade to My Cloud OS 5 before mid-January. First, make sure your WD drive is compatible.

Here are some of the drives compatible with MyCloud OS 5:

Again, if you want to continue accessing your data remotely, you must upgrade by the January deadline. If you don’t, then you will only be able to access your data locally – by physically plugging the drive into a computer. Choosing to stay on My Cloud 3, you will lose remote access, security updates and technical support after the deadline.

The firmware isn’t available for certain drives, including:

To update the firmware on your drive, Western Digital has set up a thorough guide with directions.

If you’re looking for a solid option to not only store your data but also keep it safe, Kim recommends IDrive. Not just that, but IDrive is an online cloud backup service that protects all of your devices, including your PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad and Android with just a single account. Tap or click here to save 50% on 5TB of cloud backup storage today.

🚨 What it means for you

Even if you don’t own a WD NAS drive, protecting your data should be a priority — especially as the number of cyberattacks and other online risks continue to increase as we head into the new year.

✅ Keeping your sensitive data safe means having a plan. Tap or click here for seven essential privacy tools to stay protected online.

✅ If you’ve ever wondered just how much of your data is leaked by something as common as your favorite web browser, tap or click here for a free and fast test.

Keep reading

How to wipe a hard drive on your Windows PC or Mac

External hard drives are being wiped remotely – How to protect yours

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