4 Ways to Backup Your Files and Stop Playing Russian Roulette With Your Data

Some of you are living on the edge of financial ruin. Not because you're not a good money manager – you are. Not because you're bad with people – you're good with them too.

No, some of you are living on the edge of financial ruin because you are not backing up your computer. Only 7% of people back up their data daily and 23% back up at least once a month. While you can recover most hard drives with a Ben Franklin and a good tech support person, you'll be out and down for some time waiting for that to happen. I'm going to share several ways you can back up your files and how I do it.

Most of you insure your home and personal property but choose to play Russian roulette with your dissertations, financial records, and personal photographs.

1 – Purchase An Online Backup Service: Carbonite

Carbonite (carbonite.com) is an online backup service. If you have high speed Internet and want it to just run in the background, this is a good service to use. I used it for a year, but did notice it slowed me down slightly when it was running, particularly after I took a lot of photos off of my iphone or other activity that triggered the backup to start running.

2 – Use An External Hard Drive And Crash Plan

Many of you in the country without high speed Internet will want this option. Purchase an external hard drive (the biggest you can find 500GB – 1TB) and then set up Crash Plan (crashplan.com). While Crash Plan can back up online, it will also handle your offline backup to your external hard drive or another computer. This program makes backup easy.

3 – For The Privacy Sensitive: Spider Oak

If you like option 2 but really want a super-private service, Spider Oak (spideroak.com) has high reviews in this area. While I haven't personally used this one, it comes highly recommended. It looks to be a tad harder to set up than Crash Plan, if you're super concerned about your data being private, it is a great option.

4 – Use Dropbox Instead of My Documents

Dropbox (dropbox.com) is not an “official” backup service, I installed it and use it instead of My Documents So, for me, once I had my Documents synced, I didn't need anything else. Last summer as I was finishing the final draft of Reinventing Writing, my desktop computer died and I kept working on my laptop as it went in the shop. No downtime. The advantage of this method is that your files follow you everywhere. I use Dropbox daily.

Don't live on the edge of financial ruin. If you depend on your computer (like many of us) take steps to back up your computer and rest easy at night.

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