TGIF! Casey here.
Today’s topic is like housekeeping, not very exciting but necessary all the same.
Show of hands:
How many of you store your digital data on an external drive (like a USB drive)?
Does anyone use cloud based storage?
And, final question, has your computer suddenly died without warning or been lost/damaged due to unforeseen circumstances?
Now, this isn’t an exam. I’m not going to grade you, but if you answered ‘yes’ to the first three questions, gold star for you! If you said ‘no’, then this post is for you.
I know it seems obvious that your writing and other important documents should be backed up, but we are all busy people, leading hectic lives.
Before, in my day’s of ignorance, when I was tired and wanted to shut down the laptop for the night, I grumbled about having to take the extra steps to find the little USB drive and save my data.
I’ve since had an attitude adjustment. For me it was the day my motherboard just stopped working mid-sentence. Blank screen. Total panic set in (thank you, Katy Lee for steering me to your super awesome brother, Mr. Fix It.) Luckily, my hard drive was unaffected (and I back-up my writing every night) so I didn’t lose any data.
But what about situations like natural disasters or a sudden power surge? Or you drop your laptop? Dump coffee on it? Someone steals it?
This year, after years of relying on my little USB drive and emailing myself my documents, I decided to also use a cloud storage site.
I chose Dropbox. In addition to all my writing, I have a ton of photographs and music to preserve. And those take up a ton of space, so the trial size data allocation that usually comes with “free” storage offers wasn’t going to cut it. Dropbox had the best price for the amount of storage I needed and they were compatible with my iPod and Kindle (very convenient).
There are other cloud-based services to choose from like Carbonite, Skydrive , and many more. This article is a helpful summary of what is out there. It all comes down to how much you want to spend, how much space you need and what kind of convenience you want.
I strongly encourage everyone to have an off-site location to store your data. Disaster can happen at any time. Don’t let your writing (or photos, music, etc.) be a victim.
Please share your methods for securing data. And do you have any data disaster stories to scare us with?