A Vote for Data Preservation and Backups

As your technologist, I am going to announce my political party.  Are you ready?

… …. …

I am a member of the anti-data loss party / data preservation coalition.

Stump speech:    Data loss is a plague for technology users.  It’s not right.   Work, community projects, and precious memories can vanish forever when data loss occurs.  Data loss causes a major decline in productivity.  You may lose your job.   Business deals and other contracts could fall through.   Consider the embarrassment of data loss. Think of yourself in a conference room (or a living room) about to bring up a PowerPoint or a collection of photos.   Then you realize that the data is gone.  It may have been accidentally deleted.  In some cases, you may have no explanation.  Where is your backup?   Then you GASP.  There is no backup.  Or your backup does not work.   We can’t keep going down this road my friends.   We must align ourselves with the principles of data preservation.   We must follow a 3-2-1 backup strategy.  This election choose the data preservation coalition.

Practical guidance

–  Don’t rely on just one backup method

– Most of you have an external hard drive plugged into your computer that backs up on a regular basis.  Have you verified that you can read your data on that drive?  How long has it been since you replaced your external drive?  I recommend every 2 to 3 years, even if it is working.  Be proactive. A dead drive does you no good. 

– What are your cloud based backup solutions?

– For photos on your smartphone or tablet I recommend Google Photos or Apple’s iCloud Photo Library.

– For general cloud storage and backup of documents, PowerPoints, spreadsheets, etc. that can sync across multiple devices I recommend Dropbox, One Drive, or Google Drive

– For a one shot cloud backup of everything on your computer I recommend Carbonite or even Crash Plan, if you need a family plan.  (These services charge a yearly fee of about $60 per computer.)  

A 3-2-1 backup means — you have 3 copies of your data,  you use two different types of media, and 1 of those copies must be offsite (or in the cloud).  

Where do you stand?  Do you need a consult on your data preservation strategies?