|Tomorrow is World Backup Day, which is a great opportunity to ask yourself the following question: Am I protecting my important data that I can’t afford to lose? Chances are you won’t be able to answer that with confidence but don’t worry. This week, I’m going to help you with that! Let’s start by asking the right questions.
“Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind, the kind that blindside you at 4 p.m. on some idle Tuesday”. Mary Schmich’s essay named Wear Sunscreen from 1997 is one of my favorites and she is absolutely right about the part on worrying. That said, we should still be prepared to avoid getting blindsided at 4pm on some idle Tuesday. So, let’s get to those questions.
First question: What data is important to me? Think big and make a list! Documents on your computer’s desktop? Contacts? Photos on your phone? Emails in some Outlook folder? Program with which you created your family tree? List everything you don’t want to lose.
Second question: Where is this important data stored? Computers, smartphones, external drives, cloud services? List all devices and services that stores your data.
Third question: How much data is there? Sometimes it is not easy to obtain this information but having an idea of total storage requirements will help you or the person helping you architect a viable solution.
Fourth question: Is there anything else of importance worth considering? Do you have to abide by any regulations such as HIPAA? Do you need very frequent backups such as multiple times a day? Do you need to keep a copy of your deleted files in your backups indefinitely?
Once you have answered the questions above you will be much more familiar with your needs. Whether you bring the answers to us or work with another professional, you should expect a feasible backup plan for everything on your list. Large external drives are easy to find, high speed Internet connection is available most everywhere, and possibilities with cloud technology are endless. There is no reason not to backup everything that is valuable to you. My parting advice for any backup plan is to think hybrid. When it’s possible and convenient, backup your data both locally and to the cloud. While the cloud will be more reliable, restoring large amounts of data will be quicker from a local drive.
I’ll leave you with another excerpt from Mary Schmich’s essay: “Be careful whose advice you buy, but be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia. Dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.” Everyone’s advice is limited by their experience, knowledge, and perspective. Always ask questions and trust your gut.
See you next week,
– Burak Sarac, Team Lead