Do You Need Another Reminder to BACK UP YOUR DATA?

Updated: January 14, 2011

Or how about my favorite story of the woman who just completed her own Master's Thesis which she stored on a thumb drive? To celebrate she went for a run in the park. When she returned to her car she found her car vandalized and her purse stolen - containing the thumb drive! After some frantic calls to police, etc. she returned home and checked transactions on her debit card. She saw a withdrawal from an ATM in a neighbouring county, drove to the shopping center where the ATM was located, spied a dumpster nearby and dove in to retrieve her purse and the thumb drive!

One can only hope that the couple who have reported their Mac stolen from their car in this story have a similar happy ending.

The researchers into a cure for prostate cancer at Oklahoma University had stopped at a Panera in Oklahoma City. When they returned to their car they found the windows broken and their Macbook gone.

"Unfortunately, most of the data was never backed up, a mistake Shin said could be a major setback in the fight against cancer."

Do not let this happen to you. Sure, there are automated back up and recovery systems that you should be using. But in the meantime follow these practices as well to save you time and minimize the impact of data loss. This is what I do when I am writing a book or white paper.

1. As soon as you complete any amount of work on a document or project that you would not want to do over save a copy to a thumb drive.

2. Send yourself a copy using web based email. Google and Yahoo allow you to store gigabytes of information this way.

3. At least weekly backup everything to a hard drive.

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