External hard drives are spacious, cheap and relatively easy to use, but…
I resisted talking about backup this early in the year, but a phone conversation I had today illustrated my philosophy about backup perfectly. The gentleman I spoke with suffered an external hard drive failure, and he used it as the sole storage of his digital photos. Once again, my heart sank with his story of woe. He didn’t want to spend the hundreds of dollars it would require from a data recovery company (he also, unfortunately, opened the drive and tried to manually spin the hard drive platters), but was hoping for some sort of magical tech pixie dust that I might be storing in my pocket.
The point of the story is to scare you into backing up your data. Backing up your data means that your important data exists in at least two different locations. By different locations, I’m referring to two different digital media. Hard drive, and external hard drive. Hard drive and CD or DVD. Hard drive and USB flash drive. Hard drive and online backup. External hard drive and CD or DVD. You get the picture.
Exceptional backup systems would include having important data copied on at least three different mediums and one of those mediums being physically off site or at least placed in a fire proof, locked box in a basement or garage. You can learn more about backup by simply searching my site. Make it a new year’s resolution (or just smart computing practice) to start and maintain a good backup system starting today!