I want to thank those of you who have sung my praises on the Nextdoor website for your neighborhood. A new client contacted me on Friday. I did a bit of phone triage with her and allowed her to thoroughly explain her issue with a series of follow up questions on my end. It seemed like this client was working from home and regularly typed up Word documents which were carefully saved on the Desktop and another location. All of a sudden these 2 documents that were there day after day (seemed like a continuing work routine) were gone. Not in the Recycle Bin (or Trash as a Mac user would call it). Gone! They seemed like really important files. By asking some very specific questions – I determined that there were no backup copies of these files online or on external media. When I charge clients for a session — I don’t promise a guaranteed outcome. Clients pay for my time, for the consultation. However, I want to operate with the utmost integrity. When I go to see a client I want to make sure there is a likelihood of success. I told this new client that I don’t think I can help her and I’m not one to make false promises just to earn a sale. She thanked me for my honesty and said she would certainly call back when other technology needs arose. Thanks how I do business folks. A straight shooter.
I don’t know if the caller recently had a Windows update, but I will note that I recently dealt with a client that had a major update (or what I like to call an upgrade) to their operating system and lost all of their applications, but not their files. Major updates are a potential peril. Whatever the danger — if you have files you can’t afford to lose on your computer — you need a backup system and ideally more than one. You may want to employ a cloud based backup system such as Carbonite or Backblaze. A lot of you incorporate cloud based storage such as iCloud Drive (very popular with my Mac users), Microsoft One Drive or Dropbox. One thing I like about One Drive is that it will save multiple versions of a Word document you are working on and they can later be restored. Keep in mind that the iCloud, Dropbox, and One Drive are more accurately described as “file synchronization services” rather than bakcups — even though they do backup your files. I say this because if you delete the file from one device it will be deleted on the others. Finally, a physical backup is very important as well. With my clients, this takes the form of an external hard drive plugged into the computer. Using Time Machine on the Mac and File History (or Macrium) in Windows, you can have a physical backup that can be restored from in times of crisis.
What is your backup plan? Let me know if you need help coming up with one.