Yesterday when I was at the pool I ran into Patti. Patti has been a loyal Tech Savvy Mama reader for over a year now and asked me if I had ever done a post about digital backups. Between me instructing Little Miss Techie on strokes and commanding Captain Computer to stop running on the pool deck, I tried to give Patti my thoughts about backing pictures up via an online photo site such as Flickr, Picasa, Snapfish, Kodak, CVS Photo Center, etc.
While it is wise to backup your digital gallery of pictures, it is just as important to back up all of the other data on your hard drive. Here at the Tech Savvy house, we back up our computers on a nightly basis to an external hard drive. It is reassuring to know that our pictures and my digital archive and my data is safe unless someone breaks into the house and steals the backup drive or the house catches on fire. While I don’t really like to be a pessimist, I’m also a realist and understand that both are possibilities.
So what does a family do to ensure that digital photos aren’t lost forever?
Toshiba has provided the following post that is full of wonderful tips for protecting your digital picture gallery. After you read it, let me know what other questions you have about backing up photos and documents on your computers because Toshiba has offered to have one of their storage experts answer them in a future post.
Tips for Protecting your Digital Memories by Toshiba
Imagine reviewing an important work presentation or looking through family photos from last year’s vacation in Hawaii — only to have the computer screen suddenly go blank. Shutting down the computer, turning it back on – nothing is working – the computer has crashed and everything saved on it, photos, work documents, music and more … is gone. As panic sets in, you realize that you don’t have a backup. In a single moment, all your files have disappeared.
Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often to consumers who are generating exponential amounts of personal digital content.
According to research by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), adults online create an average of 1,800 digital files a year, for a total of 310 billion files created annually in the United States alone. Yet nearly half of all digital content creators do not have a second copy of these valued digital files. Without a backup solution, cherished family photos, critical financial documents, work presentations and countless other digital data files are at risk for loss. A single computer crash could destroy everything. Portable hard drives can help protect your important files and ensure your work is safe and secure.
The following outlines ten easy steps to give peace of mind in this digital age:
1. Buy a portable hard disk drive (HDD) unit – they can range from $100 to $500 depending on the storage size and bells and whistles
2. Connect HDD to your computer – most use the USB drive, so you don’t need an extra power outlet or more wires
3. Install software – usually requires you to agree to sign your life away or at least not pirate the software
4. Restart – some software requires you to restart your computer and ensure everything is properly loaded
5. Run the backup software – once you are up and running you’ll need to open the HDD software and get it ready to backup your computer
6. How many clicks does it take? All software is different, so ideally you can find one that offers an easy back up solution. Such as the Toshiba Portable Hard Drive that requires you to press an “OK” button so you can set it and forget it, and know that it is running in the background.
7. Ensure you have complete system backup – When selecting a HDD be sure to find one that offers complete system coverage, as this will help restore your entire computer if your system goes down
8. Are you Tech Savvy? – For those of you who like to fiddle, most drives let you change the settings to personalize your storage preferences, such as timing for back up, security, etc.
9. Install security – Password-protection security is always good, as you never want a burglar to come in and have access to all your tax returns, bank info, etc., so find software that enables some sort of security (and don’t leave the password lying next to your computer!)
10. Sleep easy – Once you have set the software in motion, you can rest easy and HOPE you never have to use it, knowing that if/when your computer dies, you are prepared and protected against loss
Now what questions do you have about backing up your files? Feel free to leave a comment below asking anything and I’ll submit them to my Toshiba storage expert and get them answered for you in a future post!
Thanks to Toshiba for providing this very timely list of tips. No promotional consideration was paid for this post.
Special thanks to Aleksandra Gajdeczka for professional photography.
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Original post by Tech Savvy Mama