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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tips for backing up documents

Recently, I learned and very hard and excruciating painful lesson about backing up my documents. I thought that I was being so smart backing up all my documents on a USB flash drive. That way, if anything happened to my computer, I wouldn’t lose everything. Well, it turns out I was wrong.  

Two weeks ago my computer crashed, which for me, really wasn’t anything new. I have this nasty habit of telling it to do too many things at once and when I do this my computer protests and stops working. Anyway, everything that was saved directly on my computer was lost.  I went through the steps of reinstalling all the software and after a few hours, it was up and running.

At that point, I stuck my USB flash drive in, itching to get back to writing. I opened the draft I had been working on and was about to save a copy onto my computer (just in case) when the worse thing I could have imagined happened.  

Now, I should probably say that I’m not very technically savvy so the next bit is my interpretation of what my IT guy said.

There had been a virus on my computer before it crashed, and it had transferred to my USB flash drive. When I stuck the flash drive into my newly working computer, it cued that virus to attack all my files. It destroyed everything from outlines for new ideas right down to a halfway completed first draft.

In the end, I lost countless hours of work all because I didn’t realize that one back up was just not enough.  

After I finished stewing about everything that had been lost, I did some research on alternative ways to back up documents. And the one thing that I read over and over was that a best practice is to back up everything in 4 or 5 different places. I know this sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, one back up is not enough.

Here are a few different methods I found for storing your important files:

1) Online Storage
There are a bunch of them out there but here are a few free ones you could check out:
Freedrive | ADriveSkyDrive

2) USB Flash Drive
Believe it or not, this is still my favorite way to save my files.  I love the convenience and the size is prefect.

3) Portable Hard Drive
I've never actually used one, but they seem popular and although they are bigger than the flash drive they are still small enough to carry with you when you're on the go.

4) Email
Emailing it to yourself is probably one of the quickest ways to back up a document and with it in your emails you can access it from any computer at any time.

I hope this will give you all some ideas on ways to keep those precious files safe. 

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