Friday, August 26, 2011

What Would You Lose?

What if someone broke into your house and stole your computer? What if they took that external hard drive you back everything up on? It would be awful! Horrible! Right? Well, it has happened to someone in our family! Think of all the documents, pictures, legal information, collections of things you wanted to keep; your privacy invaded, personal and financial information in the hands of someone who was uncaring enough about the law or you as a person, to do that!
What about a fire in your home or office, that could be a disaster too. What can you do to protect yourself as much as possible and not lose all your precious pictures and documents? I didn’t know so I decided to find out what could help, should such a situation ever happen. We had our computer crash about 2 years ago and there is one thing I have started doing since then. I email folders of documents and my uploaded pictures to an email account I created just as a storage place online. I have a folder were I save all my new documents to, then after it has several docs in it I email the folder to my storage email address. I do the same thing with my newly uploaded pictures; I upload them to a folder that is named New Uploads, email the folder and contents to my storage email.

After the contents of the folder have been emailed to storage, I then can send each document to where it should be filed on my computer; same with the pictures, they are sent to appropriate folders after emailing to storage. You can overload the folders and will not be able to email them because the content is too large so look out for that especially with pictures. There are several email providers that are free, extra storage may or may not be free. Be sure to check if you will have to buy more storage for your needs.

This email idea was at the suggestion of the computer tech who fixed our computer. I have no idea if anyone else out there recommends it or not. I do know that saving things to cd's and dvd's is also risky because it is not yet known how the quality of your information on these disk will be after a number of years. If you have pictures saved on disk or any other way than an actual photo, beware! They may not be as safe or as archival as you think.  At this link you will really find some valuable information about photo storage, how safe cd's and dvd's are, etc. Here is more info on digital photo storage. Check out this link to see what they have to say about cd and dvd's.

Of course there is always paid online storage with automatic back up systems too and these are great because you don’t have to think about it too much. Just make sure it is password protected which is one of the best ways to protect yourself; have a very strong password for everything. Don’t use things like your address, phone number, birth date, kids or pets names. These are easy things for hackers to figure out. It should be something that is not connected to your daily life at all. Passwords should include upper and lower case letters, numbers, symbols and be at least 9 characters long. You really have to think about this password because you don’t want to forget it and not be able to open or login to things. If you have a trusted family member of friend, or even lock box at the bank, maybe they can be a password keeper for you in case you are afraid of forgetting it, though most experts say not to tell anyone.

Here is a link for a review of an online storage solution called Mosy, and another one called Carbonite. I think they are good to use, though right now I'm doing the email thing. Soon we will decide on which company to go with and use an online back up for our computer. It is easier as backup is automatically done, and I will be happier knowing my files and photos are safe.

And by the way, I do not know any of the companies of the sites I have suggested for you to read. I searched online and found them; they seemed to have clear and easily understood info available. That's the only reason I linked to them. I hope they help you too.


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