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  • Writer's pictureKen

Give me your wallet or your life-time of memories

Our new office: no commute, nor dress code and the cheapest coffee in town, but some of our normal business safety nets may be missing. Within all of the chaos of working from home, when is there time to protect photos, files or tax returns?

Ask a family member or friend this question: if your house was on fire, what would you choose to rescue (after your spouse/kids and pets of course)? I know I wouldn't respond with any of my tech gadgets but rather with photos, important documents or sentimental jewelry or keepsakes. Some things are much harder to replace than others.

65% think data is more important than the computer, tablet or phone.

No one wakes up in the morning going "I don't mind if I lose my new iPhone today" but even less likely is "those 10 years of photos I have on my phone or computer" are not important to me. Who is taking care of safeguarding your digital treasures? In my household, my wife and kids would say it was ME and they would be right. I'm one of those people who can't go to sleep at night without checking that the doors are locked, and the dogs are in or any other from a long list of things to do before turning in. One thing I can rest easy on is that my work documents, along with my photos, videos, tax returns and a myriad of other digital treasures are safe. Do you have your own version of a digital dad, daughter, son or wife?

28% of people say they backup photos and files frequently or daily

That means a lot of us don't have a recent backup, 72% to be specific. Let's take a look at a low-tech example. How many of you feel having one house key is a good idea. We are pretty typical having one house key for each person in our home, a second with a neighbour and a third with my sister who lives close by. Problem solved.

Three copies means you are likely safe.

Backup up your digital treasures is at least as important as getting into your house. There are lots of ways to make sure you can recover from lost files whether if is through a disaster like a ransomware attack, lost device or just an accidental deletion. You simply need three copies of your information:

1 Have a local copy

This is what most of us have. I have a copy on my computer or phone and I can access it anytime I want. So far so good.

2 Another copy onsite

This is a bit more challenging but technically pretty easy. Go to your electronics store and get a good-sized external hard drive. Make sure it is big enough for all of your photos and files you want to keep, then triple that size. It won't cost much more to go with a bigger drive with room to grow. On a regular schedule, say weekly, grab that local drive and backup all of your information. If you are dealing with a phone, you can usually sync things first with your computer, and from there to the drive.

If your pockets are a bit deeper, invest in a device that does the local backups for you automatically. If you are an Apple user, there are lots of devices that support Apple Time Machine including QNAP, Western Digital and even one from Apple! This will ensure you have that local copy ready and quickly available.

3 A third copy somewhere else

There are countless ways of doing this. Apple loves to help you out by saving (and billing you) for extra iCloud storage. Amazon allows for comparatively inexpensive storage if you are tech savvy. If you don't have a cloud service that works or fits the budget, go with a second external hard drive and bring it to a friend's place after you make a copy. Every few weeks or months, swap the drive out you use for your regular onsite backup. You then use the other device and have a rolling offsite copy that may be a few days, weeks or even months behind in having all your information, but it is much better than none.

If 50% of data is lost due to not having backups, it might be time for many of us to get on this task. If you keep three copies of data with one to actively use, a second close by and a third away from your main work/home area, you will be better prepared for any unfortunate loss of photos or files that we hold dear.

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