People think storing all your important information in digital form is a great idea. If you have a home, or offline business it’s a lot harder to protect them. You need to have a security system in place and a few cameras if you mean business. Digital information is different. You can’t even see it, because it’s either stored in the cloud or it’s hidden inside a small flash drive. If anyone wanted to steal your digital life they would need to crack a sophisticated password, or rip your little flash drive from your bare hands. That’s not to say digital information doesn’t come with its own set of problems.
I’m sure you’re aware that things can go wrong. Just because you have your information saved somewhere doesn’t mean it’s going to be there when you come back. If these are important business or personal documents there’s absolutely no way you can let them get lost. That’s why you need to be smart and store everything in more than one place. The more places it’s saved, the more secure your digital life is. You can print off a spreadsheet with the name of each place you keep your information and just tick the box every week once you backup the latest data. Here’s a few things to do.
Small flash drive
This is an obvious solution. Once you have something important on your computer you want to make a physical copy as soon as possible. When I say physical I mean something that’s offline. Just stick your flash drive into your machine and drag-and-drop anything into it. You can carry this about with you anywhere and can use it on any machine if you need quick access to your important information.
You have surely heard of Dropbox, but if you haven’t it’s OK. It’s never too late to start using it. Dropbox is basically an online backup service where you can store all your documents. You even get 2GB’s of free storage space when you sign up. Once you install it you will have a folder that sits on your desktop and it automatically syncs to your online storage space. Just keep and edit everything inside the folder and it’s always going to be saved straight away.
This is another great one that’s a little like Dropbox, but it’s more of an added insurance policy. You do have to pay a yearly fee, but that shouldn’t be a problem to anyone who is serious about backing up their information. It sits on your hard drive and automatically takes a regular backup of your entire system. If your computer dies everything can be downloaded onto a new one.
This one is another offline option that doesn’t require you to have Internet access when you want to recover lost data. It’s better to have too many copies of something than none. Disks are usually a lot easier to keep safe than those small flash drives. You don’t really carry a disk around with you. All you need is a large disk pocket in your drawer and you can pop them inside as you make your copies.
Saving app data
If you use anything portable like an iPad you will have your fair share of apps like everyone else. Some of these have automatic syncing to online backup services, so you need to find out which ones apply and sign up to them. It means anything you do while on the go will also be saved. Most of them will no doubt use Dropbox, so make sure your apps are synced with your Dropbox account.
Using your email
The last thing we can talk about is email. Or Gmail and Hotmail accounts to be more specific. Most people will probably use either or these two. When you wanted to save something in the past you would maybe email yourself the document and put it in a special folder. They both now have their own special backup facilities so everything can be saved into there. This is great for small things, but I wouldn’t waste ages using it to backup everything.
Gerard Hines is the writer of this article. He works for a website called the Blankdvdmedia.com, which is an online store from where you can purchase all types of ink cartridges, toner cartridges, CD/DVD cases, etc.