Think Ahead. Back It Up…Beep Beep Beep

So, you have all of your precious moments in photos and letters and important papers on your computer, phone, iPad, etc. All good, right? Everything is secure in its place and nothing could ever happen to it, right? Think again!

Many of us have fallen into the false sense of security in thinking all their data and memories are safe in whatever form they have it in – physical or digital. Nothing could be further from the truth.

On one hand we have people saying we should be saving trees and going “paperless” as much as possible. We’re reminded that we don’t have to print and store every shred of information we come across in a filing cabinet, or have countless photo albums tucked away in a cupboard.

On the other hand, we have the magic of the digital world, where every photo, document, receipt, and more can be kept in an electronic “filing cabinet” in your computer or iPad, etc. This makes finding things so much simpler via searching for a name or title.

The drawback of this method? Data can be lost in an instant by a corrupt file, or virus on your computer or even on a phone or tablet!

We have all heard of people who have been victims of viruses, cyber-attacks, or ransomware assaults, where all of their data has to be wiped out to restore their computer. Think about that for a moment. This “nuclear” approach is sometimes the only way to restore a computer or mobile device to its original state.

So how do we get our stuff back? The good news is that if you have a solid Back Up plan in place, it’s all there to be restored to its original location and glory.

The BAD news is you haven’t bothered to back it up, it’s probably all LOST FOREVER!

Again, think about that for a moment. Every picture, every letter you wrote, your notes, recipes, receipts, whatever, is gone, gone, gone… unless you were smart and backed everything up. Then it’s still there.

Now if you are old school and still like to keep physical copies of everything in a cabinet, you should be good to go. As long as you don’t mind making space for all that paper and feel OK about the environmental impact.

But for those who like the idea of having their photos at their fingertips ready to send to family and friends, or having all of your important papers in a form you can search, email, or call up in seconds, then backing up electronically is the one and only safe method.

The “experts” say for optimal security of your important information, you should have at least 2 backups, and ideally 3! One on a physical back-up drive attached to your computer, a second one in a cloud service like iCloud, Microsoft One Drive, Google Drive, or Dropbox for example. Amazon Prime members have unlimited photo storage!

The third could be an off-site second back-up drive, in case of disaster such as fire in a home. This option is most often used by businesses and individuals who absolutely must have secure backups of their data.

For most of us, the cloud route and a back-up drive are much better than not having any back up at all and are the most economical.

If you are an Apple user (Mac, iPhone, iPad)  you already have 5 Gigabytes of free iCloud backup space with your Apple ID. Up to 200 Gigabytes and even more are available for just a few dollars a month.

For Android users, Google Drive provides a Terabyte of FREE space to store all your stuff. If you have 1000’s of photos or videos though, more space is essential to preserve your memories and documents. Microsoft 365 users enjoy a Terabyte of One Drive storage space with their subscription.

Physical Backup storage drives can be purchased in many sizes from 100 Gigabytes to 8 Terabytes! at less than $100 in most cases for sufficient sizes.

Whatever way you go, and to what extent, depends on how much you value your data, and how difficult you would find it to replace. In most cases it isn’t possible to replace, so start thinking TODAY on how you can save yourself the heartbreak and the headache of losing all your information, by starting a BACK UP PLAN.

I’m Captain iPad

 

 

Written by

Ron’s love for all things electronic, especially computers, and more recently, Apple products, stems back to the early 90’s when the family was gifted a Commodore 64, and the nerdiness took hold. Using the knowledge he has gleaned over the years through self-taught methods, and experience over his career in computer training, Ron has landed in a niche where he can help others now in retirement with learning all about their tech.

Email: captainipad1@gmail.com

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