Back up. That’s not a polite request to someone standing a little too close, nor is it a helpful direction while helping someone to park. It’s a word of advice (well alright two). It’s me, adding my voice to the thousands of IT technicians for whom the words ‘back up’ are both a mantra and a mandate. Take heed, or be prepared to pay the price.
For I, against all received wisdom and logical advice, chose to ignore the need to save copies of my files on a device safe and separate from my computer. And, in failing to save the files, I have cost myself a huge amount of time and trouble.
Without relaying all the sorry details of my laptop’s last gasp, I had also spectacularly failed to renew my security software, despite being prompted to every time I’ve started it up since Christmas. Leaving me unprotected from viral infection (the terminological parallels here probably don’t need underlining).
The ending to this story is by now blindingly obvious. I lost the lot. Three years’ of files potentially down the digital-drain. These range from spreadsheets I’ve spent years updating and which will need to be recreated (the thought of which makes me want to weep), to every photo I’ve taken in the past three years. All saved logins and passwords have gone, which means time spent having numerous usernames and passwords emailed to me, and all the hoops that involves jumping through.
Plus all the lists, details, documents and other online ephemera we collect along the way, without realising how much we depend on it. And this dependence is at the heart of the matter.
My inconvenience is purely personal (apart from the 2,000-word retail profile I’d finished writing and merrily saved only on my desktop). But what if the system in question was one I used to run a business? What if the files I lost were vital to the health of my livelihood? Accounts, invoices, both owed and owing, customer contact databases, employee records, profit and loss statements, marketing material, the list is frighteningly endless.
How much of your business is stored on your computer’s hard drive? And much more importantly, how much of it also stored somewhere else? If the answer to the latter is anything other than 100%, then take my advice, stop reading this now and put a back up plan in operation.
21 April 2011 | 10:03 |