Don’t wait until you learn the hard way. It’s just too annoying.
Back up your work on your computer now.
How you back it up will depend on what you are trying to protect yourself against:
- a computer crash
If you want to have your files backed up in case of a computer crash, which is the most common problem, then an external hard disk, connected to a USB port, is probably the easiest and cheapest back up method. There are many on the market and although I’m not going to recommend any particular one, as I’m not too pleased with my current one, please, any of you reading this feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments section.
If you use this method, and your hard disk dies, you will have the information saved (until the last time it was backed up), but it may be easy or more complicated to retrieve this information . When you buy your back up disk check up how the information is retrieved.
If you are worried about theft or fire then you may want to consider an off-site back up, online where nothing is physically attached to your computer. Your work is backed up by a company in cyber-space, usually for a monthly or annual fee. There are many such sites available, all offering various options. Google 'online back-up' and see the possibilities or ask someone for a recommendation.
However, unless your work is backed up every day ( the more likely scenario is once or twice a week – this is something you have to decide) you will have days when your work / research / half written story or article is sitting in your computer when you turn it off and it isn’t backed up.
What I do, is send the work to myself by email. Set up an email address which can be accessed by any computer ( e.g. gmail / yahoo etc - not one attached to your place of work) and attach your work to an email and send it off. Should you not be able to turn on your computer in the morning, your work awaits you as soon as you can get to another computer and access your email.
Whenever I take photos whether they are of the family or to accompany articles, I immediately download them onto the computer as soon as I get home , just in case something happens to my camera.. (I’ve lost two in the last three years so it’s unfortunately a possible scenario for me )
However I only delete them from the camera once the computer has backed them up.
Do any of you have back-up tips or recommendations?