I’m guessing that most of us working with any kind of digital data on computers/laptops have had the experience of a (more or less devastating) data loss. Most of the time it probably was not even your fault: hard-drives WILL die, your computer or laptop could be stolen or lost etc. etc.
After experiencing a motherboard defect I was lucky enough to be able to rescue the hard-drive with my data, but it was a wake-up call for me and I have been using the 3-2-1 rule ever since. It’s easy just remember:
“For any critical data, you should have 3 copies on 2 media types with one 1 offsite or online“.
- Your original files on the computer/laptop
- Make a copy to a flash drive, thumb drive, external drive, or burn it to a CD or DVD.
- Make another copy and leave it at a different location OR use an online solution like dropbox (free for up to 2GB of data), skydrive (microsoft solution for 25 GB of free online storage for sharing Microsoft Office docs and photos),Carbonite (Unlimited online backup – just $59/year per computer) or one of the many other online storage solutions.
If backing up EVERYTHING sounds too long and boring for you determine which of your files are important for you and start with those. Once you get in the habit of backing those up you might realize that it’s not so bad and back up the rest as well.
It’s a great peace of mind because there is one less thing in your life to worry about!