Director of Production here. Hi. How are ya? I wanted to talk a little about a topic that is near and dear to my heart and that many don’t think of as an infosec or security awareness issue but that is in fact VERY important and can cause a lot of stress if not taken care of properly……….. <drumroll please>…………….
Oh, were you expecting something more exciting?
Well, if you want exciting, try having your hard drive crash, and losing all that hard work you’ve put into your novel/photobook/marekting presentation/annual report/wedding video, etc.
There’s no way to recover the files, the drive is fried, the Nerd Herd can’t fix it, and everything is lost forever – ten years of family photos, IRS documents, bank statements, school papers, work projects, journals, everything. Gone. Poof.
Exciting enough for you?
I can not say the number of times I’ve heard people freak out over a lost iPhone or a dead laptop. “That’s five years of my life on here!” “All of my kid’s birthday photos are on this phone!” The worried faces, the tears of lost memories. And I always respond to their woeful cries with one question, “Well, you have it all backed up, right?”
And 90% of the time the answer is No.
What???? I just…… What?
You haven’t been backing up years and years of photos, short stories, finances? You don’t have an external drive or cloud storage account or even a stack of blank DVDs where you store all of the very important documents in your life?
EVERYONE needs to back up.
All of you.
ALL of your data.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking tablets and phones or a terrabyte on a desktop. Back up your data. Don’t wait. Don’t say “I’ll do it tomorrow.” (Because you won’t.) Don’t say “I’ll never lose my phone.” (Because you will.) Don’t say “It can’t happen to me.” (Because it can.)
You best believe me, and back up everything that you would want to save in the case of a fire. Do you want to save the photos of your son’s birth? Do you want to save that album you’ve been recording for months? Do you want to save the business report that’s due at the end of the month? Or would it be cool if they all went up in flames?
A hard drive crash or a lost mobile device can be as devastating as a house fire, in terms of losing things that are important to us. If you’ve never been the victim of a hard drive crash (the night before that final paper is due!) or a dropped camera with all those vacation pix (that you kept forgetting to download off that SD card), trust me, you don’t want to be.
But backing up is not just a personal issue. It’s especially important at work – whether you run a multi-million dollar global enterprise, or run a small Etsy shop out of your spare bedroom. If you do ANYTHING business-related on ANY computer of any sort, BACK IT UP ASAP.
As the head of the production department for a small business, with small teams, backup is essential to saving us time, energy, mental bandwidth and keeps me from losing my mind.
Can you imagine what would happen if I lost ANY of our clients’ files? Or any of the content that we’ve spent years developing?
What would happen if one of our production machines crashed, and it wasn’t backed up, and one our clients needed some changes made to one of their courses? First of all, we’d get to start from scratch, not only rebuilding our entire course inventory (which includes videos, images, music files, interactive files, software files, etc.), rebuild the necessary courses, redo the branding for the clients, and any custom changes that had been previously made.
It ends up taking weeks, or longer, to fix a mistake that could have been prevented with something as simple as backing up our data.
What if we lost our entire stock photo and video collection? The one we’ve been building for half a decade? That’d be super fun to try to recreate. Going back to all the places we’ve bought photos from and hoping to the Data Gods that they let you recover two-year-old downloads. (Not sure that many of them do.)
You never know when the worst could happen but it’ll probably always be the worst possible moment. You could lose your phone at your cousin’s wedding. You could get mugged on the subway. Your roof could cave in during that massive hurricane drowning your home office. Your ten-year-old work computer could finally call it quits the day you’re supposed to send those files to the printer. You never know when everything could go epically, massive, insanely, horribly wrong.
That is why it is always a good idea to BE PREPARED.
BACK UP YOUR DATA.
Don’t tell us you’re not computer savvy. This isn’t that technical.
Don’t tell us you’ll try.
Don’t tell us you’ll do it as a New Year’s resolution. Don’t put it off. Do it now. Do it today. Do it every day.
Not sure where to start? Google is your friend. Do some research on different backup products, external drives and cloud storage options. Ask your coworkers and friends what they do for backup. Ask for advice from your more technical friends. Ask your friends on Facebook.
Remember that you should have more than one backup – an external hard drive and cloud storage is a good way to go. But do you go with a powered external drive or a portable one? Which brand should you get? 1 TB or 3 TB? How much space do you need? (Always go with more than you need!) Do you want to do manual backup or auto backup? How often should you backup your files? Do you need to backup your system files or just your documents? Do you need special backup software? If so, which one do you go for? So many options, so many choices.
Be sure to think about your needs, because everyone’s situation requires a slightly different backup plan. (But everyone needs a backup plan!)
We will not recommend any particular products or services here but we can tell you what we do. Each member of our production team has their own personal backup drive and cloud account. Our main production office, which runs three computers, has over 15 TB of hard drive storage, backing up the last decade of files. We also have a shared cloud account through Bitrix, which we use for project management and current projects, and a shared Google Drive cloud account where we archive finished projects and many of our e-learning products so they’re ready to go, no matter who needs them.
Now get out there and backup your life! 🙂