Backing up is critical

Part 1. Backing up is critical these days.

You have bought that computer or maybe an iPad, iPhone or just about anything with a chip in it. Now it is time to ensure your memories are safe.

Let’s start with computers and backing them up.  Years ago it was not an issue because many memories such as pictures of our loved ones were not kept on a hard drive but in shoe boxes and albums.  I remember when my mother’s home caught fire a few years ago.  The one thing she seemed to be worried about outside the obvious fire destroying her home was her memories.

Over and over she wanted the fire fighters who went in and out, in the smoke filled home to save her pictures.  This was one thing that tied my mom to her past.  We are who we are because of our past and the past was saved on paper images that were stored in our homes.  That’s where we feel safe and so our memories fell under that blanket.  Lucky for my mother the firefighters save her memories.

Today is different.  We are mostly a digital society.  Cameras and Camcorders are all backed up to our computers and maybe the occasional user backs up to a hard drive.  But, most people either never back up or pay about as much attention to backing up as they do to their anti virus…only when something happens.

While a hard drive is a great back up solution it is still a local drive.  And if you deleted the original you no longer have a back up.  What if a fire happens, maybe you live in a flood zone.  We all live in an area where Mother Nature has something waiting to be a part of our future. Fire, flood, tornados & earthquakes to name a few could all be a part of our lives at any time.  A hard drive backed up to an external drive that is stored in the same place as the original is only good if your computer dies and if you remembered to back it up.

Did you know that your hard drive has errors when you first get it and that the failure rate of hard drives is probably higher than you think?  Check out here for more information on the failure rate from Google who is the leader in hard drive use.

Here are some recommendations to aid you in backing up you memories.

  1. Paul Thurrott (http://www.winsupersite.com/) recommends a 3-2-1 back up strategy.
    1. 3 copies
    2. 2 different forms of media
    3. 1 off-site

For me that means I have a copy on my hard drive, a copy in the cloud, and a copy on an external hard drive.  Here are some services I use.

  1. Mobile Me: a service by Apple that offers, iDisk for hard drive back and storage. Also include is Mobile Me Gallery where you can show case pictures and store them.  For convenience there are apps for the iPhone and access your files and pictures on the go.
  2. Drop Box: (www.dropbox.com) A free service for most people.  (Up to 2GB).  Over that it’s a paid service and works much like the file storage of iDisk above.
  3. Carbonite: (www.carbonite.com) This service is by far my favorite.  It is a paid application that does back up automatically.  Windows and Mac applications and phone apps are available.  For about $55 dollars a year you install Carbonite on your computer and for example if you write a new paper, add pictures from your camera they are backed up within a few hours.

There are many other ways to back up these days.  Hard drives are cheap and you could buy two, keep one at home and one at work switching them out weekly.  Your date would never be more than a week old should you lose it.  For pictures you could use Google, Flickr etc.  For documents you could use Google, which is free. Anything steps you take to back up helps.  Remember backing up is no longer for businesses.  Our files, our pictures are important to who we are, what we do so we urge you to get on board.

This is where we can help.  Whatever back up strategy you choose, if you need help please don’t hesitate to call us.  We can help you set up a back up strategy for just a few dollars.  If you would like us to take care of making sure you are backed up we offer monthly visits for just a few dollars where we come to you and check your back up, anti virus and make sure you are up to date.

 

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