If you have any of the following on your device and you don’t have a back up, we need to talk ASAP:
- Pictures & Videos of deceased family members, babies, births, birthday parties, family reunions, friends, and so on.
- Important documents (tax returns, records, receipts, school papers, recipes, and many more)
- Books (for clients who were writers)
- Songs/Recordings from professional studios and amateur artists, and of course, personal music collections
If you value your files, we need to talk about back ups.
What is a back up?
A back up is an additional storage location for your files in case you lose one of the other locations. You may or may not be aware that technology is still pretty fragile. If you drop your laptop, it may be the last time you ever see your files. This is almost guaranteed if the drive sustains damage and you don’t have a back up. If your phone gets stolen and you don’t have a cloud backup, you have to say good bye to that data, too.
So what can I do?
We recommend you sit down with the Doc and let him teach you how to back up your data.
If you don’t want to learn or don’t have time and prefer an automatic, set-it-and-forget-it type method, we can set up automatic backups on your computer.
“I tell ALL of my clients that I believe in a rule of 3. If you have your data stored in 3 places, you can feel pretty safe knowing that your files are protected. That’s why I recommend you backup to at least 2 of the following:”
- External drive
- CD/DVD/Blu-Ray disc
- Cloud based storage service like DropBox, iCloud, or Google Drive
- A second internal hard drive (Mostly applies to desktop users)
External Drives/Secondary internal hard drives are great for backups but also aren’t the most reliable technology. These days hard drive manufacturers are trying to cut costs and tend to use cheaper lower-quality drives especially for external assemblies. DO NOT TRUST YOUR EXTERNAL DRIVE TO BE THE ONLY PLACE YOU BACKUP YOUR DATA.
The downside: Any hardware failure may prevent you from retrieving your information.
CD/DVD/Blu-Ray Discs are a very solid form of backup because aside from heavy physical damage (say being cracked in half or caught on fire) they rarely go bad. As long as you keep them in a case, out of heat and sun exposure, they should last a very long time. Optical discs have a life expectancy of 5-30 years. So while it’s a good idea to copy the data and burn to a new disc, say every 5 or 10 years, it’s a very reliable storage medium.
The downside: If they are lost, stolen, or destroyed, there is no way to get your data.
Cloud based storage is newer, reliant upon your internet connection, and requires you to re-download your data if you lose it. If we’re talking a few documents and pictures, no big deal. However, most people have thousands of files to back up and re-downloading all that data can take quite a while. A lot of cloud based storage companies are protected by redundance which means that your data is stored on multiple drives on their servers, possibly even in multiple locations so the likelihood of losing your data backed up in the cloud is becoming less and less all the time.
The downside: Your files are stored remotely requiring you to re-download them. You also have to trust a company to protect your data but really have no guarantee that it is 100% safe. If that company were to get hacked, they might get your data, too.
If all this technical stuff is too much for you, the Doc is available to teach you how to back up your data. The Doc understands that you may not know much about computers and he promises to be patient with you while we discover together the best method for you to back up your data.