Avoiding the Disaster created by losing your Valuable electronic files
It’s crazy, but no matter what, when we really need something, we can’t find it. When we are driving to an appointment and are late, we hit all the red lights. When you are in the middle of big project with a major deadline and your computer crashes. All your work down the drain… We are taught very young to save our money for a rainy day and put valuable documents in a safe deposit box.
Today our life’s stories are now in electronic form. Important documents, family pictures and videos, music, all our business contacts and friends addresses and it goes on and on. We text, email, MMS, Facebook, YouTube, blah blah blah. So what if? Your computer crashes. If you have not backed up, all is lost.
Or what if? Your house gets flooded. I know a guy whose computer was killed when his toilet upstairs broke and flooded everything downstairs below it. What if? Something as common as a power outage occurs. Do you know that when the power comes back on, it surges? Yes, that can fry your computer and any external drives too.
So now that you’re shaking with fear, LOL, let’ solve the problem. In other words, let’s “Avoid Disaster.”
Four common disasters risking your electronic information are:
1. PC, laptop and/or game console hard drive crashes or is damaged
2. You damage or lose your cell phone, PDA or iPod
3. Your home or business has a catastrophic disaster like fire, flood, tornado, etc… and your data storage devices are damaged or destroyed
4. A power surge corrupts the data on your PC, laptop or even game console
To avoid these disasters your best bets are:
1. Back up ALL your electronic devices REGULARLY
a. DAILY: Phones, PDAs and iPods to your PC or Laptop. All these devices come with the tools to backup automatically when connected to your PC or laptop.
b. DAILY or WEEKLY: Backup your PC, laptop or game console to an external hard drive or use an online backup solution. This too can be done automatically behind the scenes while you work or sleep. And some models are so easy to use that they are literally plug-and-play (or plug and protect?), and even will backup multiple computers in the household.
c. WEEKLY OR MONTHLY: Backup your external drive off-site. You have two options here:
i. Have an extra set of external drives that you use only for off-site storage. Each week or month backup to that device and take them to a location away from your home. Some location suggestions are your business (if backing up your business then your home), a storage unit, or even a safe deposit box (external drives are very compact these days).
ii. Online backup to an Internet backup provider. There are a number of organizations that provide you with the space and software to backup your files from your external hard drives through your PC, laptop to the internet backup provider. I refer to a couple of providers below. These resources are a wonderful solution and fairly inexpensive. I don’t recommend them for your everyday and weekly backups. This methodology can be a bit slow compared to your on-site backup methods described above because of the dependence on your Internet connection.
2. Buy a few UPS solutions. UPS stands for Uninterruptible Power Supply and not only protects your electronic devices from power surges, but also can keep your systems online for a period of time during a power failure. What’s great about that is most UPS solutions come with software for your PC that enables the UPS to initiate a safe shutdown of your PC when a power failure occurs. Therefore eliminating the potential harm to your PC from an immediate loss of power and the surge when it comes back on. Some people just buy a surge protector but unfortunately most are not powerful enough for all the devices you have plugged into them and none perform the battery & automatic shutdown functions I have described above. UPS can be inexpensive so it is worth having a couple in the house.
Great tools for each of the above solutions:
Great backup software:
Centralized storage for the home, backup all your digital devices to one location directly via your home network:
Western Digital World Edition
UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supplies)
Here is a nice system to look at: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc…
Online backup providers:
This is a link to some information provided by PC Magazine on online backup: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2…
So, what is the key to avoiding disaster? There isn’t one. The key to recovering from a disaster: regularly backup ALL your electronic files.
If you have some fun disaster recovery stories you’d like to share I would enjoy seeing them, please add comments.