We live in a digital age where some of the world’s most valuable assets are stored on a computer. Corporation’s intellectual property literally consists of millions of lines of ones and zeros. From government secrets to the crown jewels of the companies on the NYSE. Photographs, videos, news, games, music – the list goes on.
We have replaced filing cabinets and physical data warehouses with tiny electrical spinning discs. Data that was once protected by armed guards and locked in fireproof safes now exists electronically. Times are a changin’ !
From a personal perspective, take a moment to consider the value that you place on your own digital media.
- Irreplaceable Photographs that remind us of significant stories
- Personal Music Collection – a unique collection of our favourite tracks that we enjoy
- TV Shows / Movies / Home videos
- An archive of documents – Essays, University work, Thesis, Reports, C.V.s – Days and days of hard work
The list goes on, but given that the digital age is still relatively immature and our personal data collections will continue to grow, backup is something we should all seriously be considering. Ask yourself:
How would I feel if my laptop/PC was stolen tomorrow?
Do you have emergency provisions in place? Do you have a backup hard drive that is regularly updated? Do you store this hard drive remotely… somewhere that would be unaffected by a fire for example? Do you subscribe to online storage?
I consider this to be a classic example of not appreciating the importance of something until it has gone. Image the sickening realisation that the folder of your wedding photos on your PC was the only copy that existed, or the memories from your child’s first Christmas no longer existed.
What Can We Do To Be Safe?
Personally, I have started to consider how I can back things up effectively… a sort of personal business continuity plan!
While I consider Facebook to be a decent social networking tool, I would not consider it a photograph archive. Not only does my profile reflect a small percentage of my overall photo collection, but the image quality is poor at best! As an alternative, I have two external hard drives which contain a backup of all the photographs that I have ever taken. I intend to physically relocate one to my in-laws house as a redundancy plan.
Mrs Scot and I subscribe to Spotify, which stores all of our playlists. In the case of music, the music data itself is not important, rather the names and artists of our favourite songs. Spotify is accessible anywhere and I have a second copy of said playlists. Amazon and numerous other companies offer similar services.
I don’t have too many personal documents that I consider to be critical. For documents that are, I have emailed myself a copy to numerous email acc0unts – a sort of cloud storage facility. In addition to this, I have an encrypted backup on an external hard drive and have actually saved a couple to my network drive at work. Aint nothing going to get to them!
Videos and other media
We don’t yet have a great deal of video footage from a personal camera (insert joke here), however this is something that I am definitely considering for the future. I am still undecided how I will approach the backup method here. Perhaps a personal cloud storage account?
My Personal Data is Fine, What about Business Data?
As SavvyScot continues t0 grow, I become more and more aware of the growing value of my archived articles. There are numerous cloud solution services out there (such as egnyte.com) which offer cloud solution services for business. Essentially, you are paying for someone else to worry about the problem of backing up your data. I currently have a weekly backup scheduled for the whole of SavvyScot – once a week a script runs to copy the entire contents of the website to a remote storage area – in addition to several local copies of articles.
While I work in I.T. and Engineering, I understand the risks and realise the devastation that corrupt/deleted data can cause. I fear however, that not everyone else does. I am talking to you! Business owners, freelancers, individuals – Are you covered? Digital Nomads who travel around the world with a laptop in your bag, blogging to make a living; please assure me that you have everything backed up – a remote time capsule – a mirror copy – of all your websites and articles.
As technology ages and data grows… things do go wrong. Don’t become complacent and think that your laptop hard drive will never fail, or that your setup is bullet proof. I assure you that it is not! Have a think and put some backup plans in place!
How do you backup your media?
Have a great weekend guys!