It’s not sexy. It’s safe. I’m talking storage, not condoms.
Three days ago, my main computer goes blue screen. Even non-techies know that this is the sign of immediate death. 13 hours later (that means Rog was working through the night, giving up at 6 am), the blue screen was still blue, but the data was transferring off onto a back-up drive. That process had taken hours (for he had to tap into who-knows-what). Only a former Microsoft guy with mad, Jedi-skills could even make this happen.
Still, the computer was dead, the culprit a bug in the Microsoft OS software. As Rog mutters to himself, red-eyed and hair sticking up like a slee-stack from Planet of the Apes, I divine the computer is going back to the manufacturer (thank you extended warranty). Me, on the other hand…I silently slip out of the room, retrieve my external hard drive and create a new folder backing up everything on my computer. I recall the time 2 yrs back when my entire system went blue, and unlike my desktop, was unable to EVER get the files back. In a panic, I contacted every editor, friend etc. for the files I might have sent.
New Year’s Resolution for sanity…
First of all, use the cloud for documents if you feel comfortable doing so. I use Dropbox–or rather, my clients and companies I work with use dropbox and I access the information. Personally, I’m ultra paranoid about hacking and never put a thing in the cloud that I’m going to regret, from pictures to documents. If others want to do that, fine. Just not me. (Think Sony, Facebook and just about every other system that’s been penetrated).
If you don’t know what a cloud is, fuggetaboutit. Go for an external drive, either in small or large form. I have both- a USB for my word documents that are tiny files by comparison to pics. I use my drive for a complete transfer of my desktop folder. It’s solid state (no moving parts), safe and sits in my safe that is fire proof. It’s not real expensive either, but obviously more than a $10 USB stick.
I used to do make a full back up once a month, but now do USB backups once a week and only have a full backup if I’ve had major file changes.
For my sanity, it’s worth the time and effort. In my latest case, it was worth at least 12 hours of my husband’s life.
My new method of being:
- backup drive. once a week. for primary files, after every major upgrade or version
- in the cloud. for non-sensitive documents that if hacked, or not going to bring me down in a critical way
- outlook. I will send my other computer (desktop) a final file and archive it. because I’m now terribly paranoid, I send major files to my husband’s computer as well, stick it in my file folder and archive it.
- a USB. just to be ultra safe, I have a wonderfully happy Minion USB that I have my word files on. It’s tiny and portable, which is ideal only for my most critical documents, but I have it nonetheless.
Is this all redundant? Absolutely. And that’s the point. I will never, ever, be caught without my information again.
As a side note, an associate I work with on a frequent basis (he’s an attorney at a land development firm and is always calling me for language and ideas on creative land, manufacturing and investment partnership strategies), recently suffered from a complete technology breakdown. Apparently, the company was hacked, the IT critically compromised. All. Data. Gone. Was the info supposed to be in the cloud? Yes. Was it compromised (e.g. wiped out). Yes. All bad.
So, when it comes to having a backup, it truly is the same principle as sexual safety. One can never be too safe.