Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
This is Leo Notenboom for askleo.info.
So with a lead-in like that, you know what I'm about to do: harp on backups.
But I think I have good reason.
You may have noticed that when you submit a question to Ask Leo!, I actually ask you to optionally answer a few anonymous questions. For the last month one of those questions was "How often do you back up?" and earlier today I collected the responses.
The good news is that of those who responded, 60% are backing up at least monthly, and many are backing up more frequently than that.
The scary news is that 40% are not. They're either backing up when they remember to think of it or like a full 15% of the respondents, not at all.
No backups. At all.
Now, the timing's coincidental, but just last week I answered a question where someone was having an issue with their machine, and they were concerned that they were about to lose everything on their hard drive, including important family pictures. Unfortunately that's an all too common concern. I regularly get questions from folks who are absolutely frantic because their computer has a serious problem, and as a result they risked losing the only copy of something critically important to them.
The only copy.
Folks, if you can afford a computer, you can afford a backup solution. And if you can afford to be using it for things you think are important to you, then you can't afford not to be backing up regularly, automatically, and without thought.
Yes, it's that important.
Well, ok, it's really only as important as your data is important to you. If you don't mind losing everything, all your data, all your pictures, all your email, all your documents, well then by all means, don't backup; there's no need.
But if you value any of those things at all, then start doing something and do it soon.
What "something" should you do? Well, personally I'm a big fan of external USB hard drives and automated backup software like Acronis True Image. But in reality what you choose is less important than simply choosing something. As I said in my article What backup program should I use? it's a lot like exercise: the best program for exercise or for backup is whatever one you'll actually do.
Because it will happen.
Your hard drive will die, or you'll erase it by mistake or the kids will, or something will happen that will make you curse. Loudly.
And wish you had been backing up.
I'd love to hear what you think. Visit askleo.info and enter 11734 in the go to article number box to access the show notes, the transcript and to leave me a comment. While you're there, browse over 1,200 technical questions and answers on the site.
Till next time, I'm Leo Notenboom, for askleo.info.