The Importance of Backing Up

The hard drive on my computer died over the weekend and I lost everything. Normally, this would cause me to be bitter, angry and heartbroken; sending me into a blind rage. But, you see, I had almost everything important to me backed up onto an external hard drive. So I was lucky. Don’t get me wrong. I was extremely upset at the inconvenience this caused me. Not to mention, annoyed at the cost of having to replace the hard drive.

I thought I would never ever need my backed up files, but I’m now a true believer that anything electronic is susceptible to failure and can and will fail at some point in its life. So learn a lesson from my misfortune, and back up, back up, back up! You’ll be so glad you did. Trust me, you don’t want to lose your whole iTunes music library, any irreplaceable family photos or important business files. As a blog owner and Etsy shop owner, I’m so glad I had everything backed up. I can’t imagine the countless hours I would have had to spend going through paperwork and receipts trying to get ready for my next tax return because all my computer files were lost. I would also be heartbroken if I had lost eight years’ worth of digital photos; some of which contain images of me and my sister Christine, whom I will never see again.

Now I’m on a mission to be extra secure with my computer files. I’m considering an additional method of backing up my files such as http://www.carbonite.com. You pay a yearly fee and they automatically back up your files onto a securely encrypted site online so you never have to worry about remembering to do it. It’s cloud technology. I used to have reservations about backing up my files online, but I learned that external hard drives can fail, too (they’re electronic, right?). One of my coworkers has a friend whose backup drive failed after only a few years. He thought he lost everything, but he found a place in Chicago where he sent his backup drive and they were able to recover some of the files (after charging him an arm and a leg). They told him that it was common for backup drives to last for only three or four years. So let that be a warning to you. Even backup drives aren’t completely infallible.

Furthermore, make sure you have your iPhone backed up, as well. I made the mistake of not backing up my phone the first time I installed an upgrade and I lost all my photos on it. It’s simple to back up with iTunes or iCloud. I can’t stress the importance of backing up. It will save you so much heartache. Just do it. Like Adrian Monk always said, “You’ll thank me later.”

I’m curious. What methods do you use to back up your computer files? I think I’m also going to back up my most important photos onto DVDs. I know, I’m probably being overly redundant, but I just feel like I can’t be too careful now.

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4 thoughts on “The Importance of Backing Up

  1. Omg, I have been trying to find the method to make me rest easy on this for over a year now. I was told by our IT guy at work to burn DVDs/CDs of photos, store them on an external hard drive and for good measure, use cloud technology. WHAT?!?! Was my response, but as you state here, you may be thanking your lucky stars you did it one day.

    I need to get that External hard drive purchased…

    • I know. I’m SO glad I backed up everything onto an external hard drive. Just do it. The first time your computer dies, you’ll be so grateful you did. There’s nothing like almost losing everything to really give you a wake up call.

  2. Good article, Veronica, and so very true! I have a backup hard drive too…. and it wasn’t stolen when my computer was (thankfully they didn’t see it behind the cabinet there!) but now I also use Crashplan (another online service). Because not only should you be ready if your computer should die, you should be ready for other reasons you might lose your data. Because what if next time thieves do notice the cord they have to disconnect from my computer and grab the hard drive too…or what if there’s a disaster at my house, such as fire, storm or flood? I’m not confident that a device right next to my computer would survive anything that my computer doesn’t. Hence the online backup…far, far away there is a copy of my computer to grab from the internet when I need it. Phew!!

    • I think I may sign up for an online service, too, for good measure. My backup drive isn’t working now, either. I can still get stuff off of it, but I can’t back up anything onto it anymore. So now I have to look for a new one. You’re right. If a disaster were to occur, it would be nice to know all my files were backed up off-site somewhere else.

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