IMG_3775When our house was broken into and we were robbed a few years back, I was most devastated at losing my laptop.

While our insurance company could replace the actual hardware – in fact they could provide an upgraded one – it could not replace what I valued most in that laptop.

It had every photograph and video I had taken of my children and family. Every photo I had taken for work. Our insurance company could not help me replace any of that.

I was devastated.

Photos and videos capture the essence of one’s life and are our attempt at immortalising ourselves and things we hold dear.

Today, we store digital content in our smartphones, cameras, computers and tablets. We carry that content in our pocket, handbags and briefcases. All of that content is precious.

Those digital memories can be erased so easily – a theft, a virus, and finger trouble on a keyboard – the possibilities are endless.

There are many ways to safeguard your digital legacy – Google+, iCloud (if you own an Apple device), Flash drives, CDs and DVDs, and portable hard drives. The choice of backup depends entirely on one’s preferences and needs. But back up you must.

Backing up means having at least two copies of all valuable data. I don’t put it off – if I like it, I make a copy immediately.

I also keep my copies in different places. The reasoning is obvious – the risk of complete data loss is reduced substantially if my copies are in different places.

The most important thing to remember is that simply moving files, say from your computer to a hard drive, is not backup but storage. You don’t want to do that. Essentially moving a file means you still only have one copy, so your files are still at risk of being lost should anything happen. Make sure you have at least two copies.

I’ve researched which is the best solution for me and have found that external hard drives are a great way to back up files. They are fast, and offer larger storage capacity than USB sticks and the like.

I’ve also learnt that saving data in the ‘cloud’ is a great idea. It effectively gives me a third backup option and my data is saved in another place.

However I do it, the key is … back up, back up, back up.

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