Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Hi everyone, this is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some of the many questions I get at askleo.info.
OK, I know we all get tired of hearing it, but we all need reminding, so I'm going to ask it again: are you backed up?
Seems like not a day goes by where I don't get a question that boils down to "I've lost all my data, what can I do?" Learn a hard lesson, that's what you can do.
I honestly don't care how you back things up. I've said before that backup strategies are like exercise programs: the best one is whatever one you'll actually use. Be it a one button stock backup program to an external drive, or a complex network of machines and perl scripts such as I run, you need something.
Take a look at each machine you have, and ask yourself this question: what happens if this machine dies. I mean really dies ... the data on it is totally unrecoverable; every hard disk is gone. If the answer is anything more than a minor annoyance, you really need to look at what you're doing.
You must back up, or you will be sorry. Take it from someone who's learned that lesson the hard way long ago.
Do you have a website or dedicated server at a hosting company? What happens if that hard disk goes up in smoke? Or the server is compromised and erased? Are you covered? Will your business be crippled, and if so, for how long?
You're not done yet. For each on-line service you use, ask yourself a similar question: what if that service went away, or you permanently lost access? Annoyance or disaster? Think about photo sharing services, social networking sites, or IM services. Would you lose contacts or important documents?
I recommend strongly against using most free services as the sole repository for critical information because I have lots of horror stories of people losing contacts, resumes, college applications and even masters thesis because their free email account was hacked. That simply shouldn't happen, all of that should be backed up on a local computer or on some other server.
Now I know many of you are you the technical go-to person for friends, family members and others. Even if you're totally backed up yourself, ask these questions on their behalf and help them set up some kind of backup or disaster plan.
Let's face it - you know exactly who it is they'll go-to when (not if) that disaster eventually happens.
I'd love to hear what you think. Visit ask leo dot info, and enter 10433 in the go to article number box. Leave a comment, I read them all.
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