Global Tech Buzz: Backup Reminder

When was the last time you did a backup?

I got a reminder of that this week when my MacBook Pro hard drive started to fail and the gang at the Apple Store wanted to do a full hard disk replacement.

While I take most of my videos and pictures and put them in the cloud, I didnt have a full backup. I went home, and ran Time Machine on an external drive, and now I’m good to go.

Having a backup is VITAL. And you can’t just burn something to a disc, or put something on an external drive – you need to have multiple copies in multiple locations to be truly backed up.

By having multiple copies in multiple locations, you’re protecting against your media or hardware becoming obsolete. You’re protecting against your backup service being compromised or going out of business. You’re protecting against theft or destruction at home.

The most important things we want to save are images, videos, and some documents. You can do most of that for free.

There are many free options to back things up in the cloud. You can toss your photos on Facebook, Flickr, or Picasa. You could put your videos on YouTube, or Vimeo.

If you’re worried about privacy, you can password protect your images, or restrict who views them.

When it comes to pay services, you can use a service like Carbonite which works in the background to make continuous backups of your system over the internet. You could also expand your storage space on a service like Dropbox which gives you instant access to your files in multiple locations from the cloud.

When it comes to documents, I do everything in Google Docs. My email, and my documents are through Google. Despite losing my computer (since Thursday!), I was still able to do all my writing, and research because my notes were saved to Google Docs, giving me access to my files on my iPhone, iPad, or my wife’s PC (ewww).

Here’s a long list of other online services you can use for backup.

You can burn important files to disc, or an external memory key, or even a hard drive, but remember to not have them sitting next to your computer. If someone steals your computer, they’ll grab everything on that desk, that includes your backups. So keep it in another part of the house, or better yet, another building. Have a couple of external disks you swap from work or home, so you always keep them apart.

You can get 1TB of storage for around $100, that should be plenty to do any sort of backing up you need. Apple’s Time Machine program does backing up automatically, Windows has backup wizards too.

If you need a reminder to have multiple backups, in multiple locations, watch this video about how Toy Story 2 was saved after the movie file was corrupted, and they discovered the on site backup had been failing for 2 months. The movie was rescued only because the Technical Director had another backup – at home.



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