Data loss. It’s a horrible, no good, very bad feeling. One day, your data is there, and the next moment, it’s all gone – pictures, videos, music, documents, everything — completely wiped out from your hard drive or flash drive or flash card (whether it be from a virus, corrupt files, mechanical malfunction, etc.), and you’re left with nothing… NADA. Chances are that you’ve gone through it (I definitely have) or know someone who has gone through (I definitely have) this disastrous experience.
Here are some tips to keep your new year safe from data loss:
1. DON’T put all your eggs in one basket. In terms of your data, don’t save all your data in only one place. Many people love the convenience of flash drives because they are so portable. However, they travel often, so they are also more prone to failure. NEVER just save your data on one flash drive only. The same goes for your laptop or your desktop computers. Hard drives can break down (at ANY time), so ALWAYS save your data in more than one place. In the event of a hard drive failure, it could cost hundred of dollars to try to retrieve your data, and that doesn’t even guarantee you’ll get any of the data back.
2. E-mail yourself. One of the easiest ways to have a backup of your data is to e-mail it as an attachment to yourself. If you’re working on an important document, e-mail it to yourself immediately after you save it on your computer. That way, if something happens to your computer, you’ll have an electronic copy of it. This works best with smaller files.
3. Take advantage of FREE online storage. There are many fee-based online storage services that promise to back up all of the data on your computer. Those services usually ask for monthly fees, PLUS an even larger fee to retrieve that data. Instead, you could upload your photos to sites such as Flickr or Google’s Picassa. (Make sure to check privacy settings). For videos, there are sites like YouTube or Vimeo (you have the option of making these private). Sites like Dropbox or Google Docs or Apple iCloud also allow you limited storage, once you set up an account with them.
4. Purchase a back-up hard drive. It’s always a good idea to have all of your data backed up onto another external hard drive or to a network-attached drive. This is especially true for those with large amounts of photos and digital videos. For ultra-worriers like me, consider having a back-up of your back-up, just in case. Luckily, the prices of hard drives have come down considerably, and I always think of how much worse it would be if I don’t have extra back-ups, should anything go wrong (which definitely will at some point). It’s like insurance. You hope you don’t have to use it, but it gives you some peace of mind knowing it can save you later on.
5. Better SAVE, than sorry. The best practice is to save often and back up all of your data often. The more you do it, the more it will become second nature, and the happier you’ll be … at least in terms of data loss.
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[author_info]About the Author
Renny Fong has been an educator for over 15 years, teaching pre-kindergarten through fifth grade; he currently teaches technology. His wife and his five-year-old son are his biggest joy and inspiration. He started his blog, TimeOutDad, in September 2009 and is a contributor to Book Dads and KidZui’s blog. You can follow him on Twitter.