Back up your data – just do it!

Think it can’t happen to you. Well, Murphy’s law says it will and for many of us it already has! Just ask Jingming Zhang, a Ph.D. student at Rutgers University, who recently lost his laptop and all its data including his graduate thesis. You may not have five years of thesis work stored on your computer but you probably do have many valuable files and irreplaceable memories in the form of pictures and family videos.

Backing up is a pain but because it is such a hot topic there are many alternatives available. Don’t have the time or couldn’t be bothered, there are many automated services out there that can do it for you, just do a Google search. The major benefit of these services, besides convenience, is that your data is stored remotely in the cloud. So if you lose your computer, get a virus, your hard drive fails or god forbid your house burns down, you won’t have lost everything. Don’t want to pay any money? Many cloud based services offer free storage, in the gigabytes, before it costs you anything.

Another alternative is to simply buy an external drive and do backups at regular intervals based on your computer activity. External hard drives have become extremely cheap and if you back up regularly it won’t even take much time. Even if it were going to take time, you don’t have to sit there and watch.

If you don’t want to buy an external hard drive there is always the inexpensive USB key or DVD burner for those really important files.

The message here is simple – Back up before you wish you had and it is too late!