Keep Your Assets Safe!

What’s Your Plan B for When Disaster Data Loss Strikes?

Backups have been a hot topic lately in the blog-o-sphere and online with hackers attacking, sites like YouTube pulling content without warning, and other data loss disasters.

So what’s the best way to protect yourself?  You need a backup plan.

A good backup plan is well thought out, layered (not dependent on just one source for any important data), and automatic.

Think it Out

What’s most important to you?  What data would be the most difficult to recreate or work without in your business?  What family memories can’t be replaced (photos, videos)?

Those are the things you’ve got to include in your data backup plans.

Layers of Protection

Don’t rely on one source to keep your data.

If all your videos are on YouTube, be sure they’re backed up to your computer, too.  That’s two layers.

If you’re using GMail, it’s not wise to rely solely on GMail to save your email data.  You want to be saving it to your computer, or another location, too.  And in the rare case that both GMail and your computer might fail, is it saved in a third location like a backup drive?

The more layered your plan is, the less chance that you might lose data.

Automatic

If you’re anything like me, it’s not a great idea to buy an external backup drive thinking you’ll find time every night to back up your computer.  So look for automatic options any time it’s possible.

My backups have got to be automatic or they’re not likely to happen nearly as often as they should to be valuable.

Some Backup Options to Consider

For your computers: I use Mozy on my computers.  It’s worked wonderfully (and yes, I’ve actually had to use it when I had three computer crashes within 6 weeks or so).  Carbonite is another popular online backup option.  Both are completely automatic.

For your website/blog: I use the cPanel backup option because it saves *everything* (email, website, stats).  But I do not just let my server make and save the backups.  I login and download recent backups to my computer every couple of days.  It’s worth it.  If I were to be hacked, I could send that backup to my host and be restored in a matter of minutes.  You can also use one of the many backup plugins for WordPress.

For your email: Find out what’s available from your email host.  I use GMail and Backupify.

For YouTube: Be sure to always save a copy of your videos to your computer and don’t rely on YouTube to keep them for you.  You can also use a service like Amazon S3 instead of YouTube for streaming your videos, and then you’re less likely to need to worry about them disappearing.

For social networking sites: I use Backupify to grab copies of my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Your Turn

What backup tools have you found work well for you?

If you don’t have a backup plan in place yet, stop and set it up today.  Hopefully you’ll never need it, but just in case, it’s worth it to know your data is protected.

Photo Credit: latent/StockFresh

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10 Comments

  1. Alright – you freaked me out. I must download my WordPress file from the dashboard. I haven’t done it in about 6 months. I’m actually glad you made this post because I would not have thought about it for who knows how long lol.
    I purchased an external hard drive – 1TB of memory. I hold all of my photos, videos, and articles on here. I have put a pretty good dent in the memory already. Video takes up quite a bit – especially when you have the raw file and final production. lol
    Thanks for the reminder – I’ll get on it! :)
    Brock Blohm recently posted… How My Life Changed In Only 30 SecondsMy Profile

    1. Video takes an astounding amount of space! I’ve found the same thing for the raw files. Crazy.

      Glad this helped you get a backup done. May you never, ever need it (but glad you’ve got it, just in case).
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Life & Business Are Like SurfingMy Profile

  2. Just like you said, “Layers of protection.” I have no problems with external hard drives as backups, but you better have more than one. One is good for daily backups and the other I say weekly. Also, I use dropbox which is only storage for doc and pics. Since my hosted blog is fairly new I do not have a good game going, yet. I do you the WP backup plugin and have a daily email going to my gmail account. Gmail has never gone down on me in all the years I have been using it. I am missing anything?

    1. GMail is pretty reliable but there have been several times where a small percentage of users have been unable to login, and ended up losing mail. So, just in case…
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Weekend Inspiration: GratitudeMy Profile

  3. With losing 2 computers in less than two years, you don’t have to tell me twice. After my first computer crashed and I had years of hard work and design on it, I went the external hard drive. I also use thumb drives for that added extra layer of protection. And I do believe in the old fashion way of have a hard copy. I love 3-ring binders, file cabinets and file folders.
    Ria recently posted… Candles For A Cause – Toledo Deaf ClubMy Profile

    1. Good point! There IS another way to backup the really critical stuff – paper, disks, physical things we can actually hold on to (and put in a safe or cabinet). :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… How to Blog When You’re Exhausted and UninspiredMy Profile

  4. Wow! this post has really frightened me, as I don’t have anything backed-up. I’m off to see your recommendations NOW!!

    1. It’s one of those “better safe than sorry” things — you’ll probably never need it, but just in case it’s best to be prepared. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Life & Business Are Like SurfingMy Profile

  5. I do backup my files to a separate hard drive but I need to do a better job with my videos. I do backup the Premier video files but I usually choose the option to render it straight to YouTube instead of rendering an mp4 and then uploading it. Maybe I should do both.

    1. I publish straight to YouTube and then download them from there. There’s probably a better way to do it, but that’s working for me for now. :)
      Michelle Shaeffer recently posted… Free Resource Alert: Google+ GuideMy Profile

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