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Don’t be an April Fool. Be prepared. Back up your files on March 31st.

That is the header at WorldBackupDay.com, and I couldn’t have put it better myself. World Backup Day was established to help people learn about the importance of regular backups. Let’s face it; if you lost all the data on your computer or phone, your world might fall apart. I know mine would, and that is why I have multiple backup plans in place for when that does happen. And it will happen. Hard drives eventually fail, laptops get stolen, and phones get dropped in the lake.

So let’s cut to the chase. Backup your computers now. Make sure the pictures on your phone is backed up somewhere. If it’s on a hard drive, you need to back it up.

My Backup Plan

I have multiple ways I backup data and the first starts with a backup service. I use a paid service called Backblaze. After an initial backup, the service is continually backing up the most current changes on my laptop. It is even backing up external hard drives that I have attached. The best part is that it only costs me $5 a month. You never see it, and you never have to think about it.

One of my favorite features is “Locate My Computer. ” It came about because some of the Backblaze users had their computers stolen and were trying to find a way to retrieve their devices. They realized that while some of their programs and services like Find My Mac were wiped, in some cases, Backblaze was still running in the background. Backblaze was able to figure out where the computer is contacting them from, so they could retrieve their laptop.

I also use Dropbox which is not a backup but I kind of use it as one. I initially started using Dropbox when I had an office and would sync my computer at work to my computer at home. Eventually, I moved my office back home, and I work off a laptop now. All my work files are on Dropbox so I can share them with others, and those files get backed up to the cloud.

Dropbox has a limit to how much data you can have depending on your plan. To keep from going over and spending more money I backup old files onto a Job Backup hard drive. That drive is backed up as part of my Backblaze plan. I put the files in dated folders that contain files that are no more than about 3.5 to 4 GBs in total data. I then burn a DVD of each of those folders. Why would I do that you might ask? Because I still have a stack of discs and I might as well use them. I rarely ever have to go back to find jobs that are older than a couple of years, but at least it makes me feel better.

As a final backup option, I create a mirror of my computers hard drive on a removable drive. I purchased a Western Digital My Passport for Mac that is a little larger in storage than my laptops hard drive. I love that they are small, portable and are powered by my laptop. I can throw them in safe or some other place for safekeeping. The software I use is SuperDuper! I do this manually, so I have to set up a schedule to remind me to keep those files up-to-date. I always make sure that I back up the computer before I go out of town and I leave the backup at home.

I hope that helps you get started with your backup plan on March 31st. And don’t forget to also backup on April 1st, and 2nd, and… you get the picture.

Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright is a graphic designer and podcaster living in Birmingham, Alabama. You can find his design work at shawnwright.net. His podcast, the Shades Cahaba Oral History Project podcast at shadescahabahistory.com, and his designs for sale at TeePublic.com and Redbubble.com.
Shawn Wright
Shawn Wright

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