Recently a SAC employee was getting her daily dose of caffeine at a local coffee shop when she overheard a conversation of a man trying to help recover a woman’s computer.

“The good news is your client information was on the server, so you should be able to access that from another device. The bad news is you didn’t back up anything from your local hard drive and there’s no way to recover that information.”

Can you imagine?

Word docs, Excel files, photos, etc.–gone, all gone.

This same SAC employee once worked for a photographer, who had recently finished a series of photography sessions. One morning, the photographer came into work to finishing the photos, which were on his computer, as he’d shot them with a DSLR, and the computer would not turn on. Over and over again, the computer would whirr to start and then the screen would turn into what we like to call “The Blue Screen of Death.” It was just a blank screen, with no options to more forward or backward.

The thing about photos is they can’t be replaced or duplicated–not even digital ones–unless they’ve been backed up somewhere. By a literal miracle, the photographer was able to get the computer up and running after googling the problem extensively. After that, he was quick to back everything up, instead of waiting a day or two after several shoots to do it.

Had all of those photos been lost, he would’ve lost hundreds of hours of time and had to give refunds back to all of his clients–or reschedule photoshoots.

The same to applied to other professions like writing–writers have lost entire novels because they didn’t have a back up copy of their work anywhere else. Designers have lost projects. Managers have lost potentials leads. You get the idea. You’ve put your livelihood on a device and if you decide to trust that device, and only that device, to guard your work, you may end up very sorry one day.

Backing up is important, because computers can crash anytime, anywhere, for seemingly no reason at all. It can happen to anyone. And while you can reinstall software, there’s some data that’s irreplaceable.

So invest in a good external hard drive and make backing up your files part of your every day routine.

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