Feeling Safe and Secure?

Who hasn’t walked into a computer room and seen the sign –

I Haven’t Lost My Mind – It’s Backed Up On Tape Somewhere

Or, the more contemporary backed up to disk…

As you can imagine, you can buy T-shirts with this slogan at any of your favourite geekery  stores.

Hopefully, you didn’t miss World Backup Day yesterday and took the time to make sure that your computer disaster plan is good.  (and working)

As I look around here, I smile when I think that even the concept of backing up has changed over the years.  In the best business sense, it meant backing everything up to your favourite removable media, and storing it offsite. 

That’s probably a little overkill for the casual home user but creating that backup is indeed important.  But slipping a disk into the computer and making a copy belongs to a time long gone.

Around here:

  • my iPad is backed up to my MacBook;
  • my old iPod used for dog walking is similarly backed up;
  • my Macbook is backed up to an external hard drive;
  • my Ubuntu data is backed up to my Windows partitition;
  • my Phone pictures are backed up to Dropbox, with a copy on my Windows computer;
  • my Google Documents are in the cloud @ Google where I’m sure they’re well taken care of – local copies are made here, just in case;
  • my blog is backed up on BlogBooker which is stored on my Windows computer;
  • my Windows computer is backed up to an external hard drive.  It takes the most responsibility but it also has the biggest hard drive.

With all this paranoia, you might think that I’ve been burned.  Knock wood, I haven’t in a big way.  There have been a few minor losses but that’s due to operator error with things like improper versioning.

Things are different these days.  Rather than shipping a piece of media with your computer, manufacturers are putting a restore partition on the hard drive rather than the 2-3 cents a real DVD would cost.  The real test of a backup plan is to actually restore things.  I do that with my data but am hesitant to do that with the operating system itself.  With slow download speeds, it could be days restoring all the updates.  My exception to that is Ubuntu where I do a complete install with each update.  Why?  Each six months, it’s a total refresh, so why not?

Days like the World Backup Day are a good reminder of a management habit that should be done far more regularly than annually.  If you do have a plan, it could best serve as a reminder to check your procedures and test your backups to make sure that you’re not just backing up empty files.

How did YOU celebrate World Backup Day?

Author: dougpete

The content of this blog is generated by whatever strikes my fancy at any given point. It might be computers, weather, political, or something else in nature. I experiment and comment a lot on things so don't take anything here too seriously; I might change my mind a day later but what you read is my thought and opinion at the time I wrote it! My personal website is at: http://www.dougpeterson.ca Follow me on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dougpete I'm bookmarking things at: http://www.diigo.com/user/dougpete

4 thoughts on “Feeling Safe and Secure?”

  1. Unfortunately, I celebrated World Backup Day at home sick. When I tried using my computer in the afternoon, it froze and then wouldn’t power on again. I’m still hoping that ASUS support will come through for me, otherwise I’m not sure what I’ll do. I am mostly backed up, but not completely. Notably, the rubric for the assignment I posted yesterday only exists on my laptop. Fingers crossed.


  2. Emails stored on external servers are not secure unless encrypted at source. Binfer bypasses email storage servers. This is the best way to send secure email. The link is http://www.binfer.com.


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