Backup your work files – this is the mantra that has been said so many time to me over my working career. Then around 15 years ago the whole ‘backup’ process become so automated in the office that people (other than the kind and helpful IT staff that managed it all) forgot that it was being done for them.
Become a telecommuter and the ‘backup your work files’ mantra needs to return!
Some folks still work from their computers in a remote office by are deeply and firmly connected to the head office systems and so this is all a rant wasted on them. But for many, you and your computer stand alone. So what are the options for you?
Backup your work files onto media
This is becoming a little old fashion, but a cheap way to back up smaller amounts of work files is onto DVD/CDs. They are cheap to buy and most systems allow the drag and drop process of copying individual files. However, the trend to produce computers without DVD/CD drives continues…and so make sure that if the files on these need to be available in 10 years that you have a system to extract the data. Remember floppy discs? Who has a 3.5 inch floppy disc drive in their laptop now?
Backup your work files onto portable drives
A great solution is to backup your work files onto portable drives. These come in a range of sizes, from pocket drives that are powered through your USB port to plugin drives that rapidly update your entire system through a firewire connection. For a small investment (less than $250) you can have a system that will keep you covered for computer meltdowns and lost work almost continually. I use the Apple Time Machine process. It is just so easy! I am sure the PC world has similar backup software.
Backup your work files to the cloud
This is becoming a more common way people are backing up – storing files to a virtual drive that is administered by some third party. Many, like Apples icloud, have free cloud storage up to a certain size after which you pay for more space each month or on a yearly plan.
Backup your work files to a secure site
There is a number of companies that offer a seamless backup of your hard drive onto their remote mainframes. The advantage of this is if your computer fails cause of a catastrophic event, such as a house fire or flood, where all your other backup systems (DVDs, portable hard drives) are also destroyed you still have a remote backup. Examples are like Carbonite.