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Online and Offline Backups – Yes!

As I adjust to life in Louisiana, I have seen and heard almost constant reminders of the flooding that ravaged the Baton Rouge area last summer. Believe it or not, there are still homes with damage, and in the process of being renovated. I’ve heard a few stories from my new coworkers about the flood, and how it impacted them and their family members.

Naturally, being a techie, and a photographer to boot, I’ve been thinking about not only the possessions that were destroyed during the flood, but about the data that was lost. Let’s face it, all of us have a computer with our important photos and data on it. Many of us have taken the step to get an external drive to backup that data in case the computer crashes. Still others have taken the step to store the “really” important stuff to a cloud service.

But how many of us have done both?

Let’s take two different scenarios, first, the flood:

Your house is in an area close enough to a bayou or river that is hit with a flash flood late in the evening. Your house goes from your refuge on a stormy night to being filled with 6-7 feet of water. You barely have time to get out, let alone grab anything. Your computer, and your backup drive were in the house.

The second scenario is also something that has been occurring frequently in recent days. You’ve got your computer setup to automatically sync up with a cloud storage provider. If your house is destroyed along with your computer, your data is safely stored at Google, Dropbox, or some other provider. But you don’t get a flood, you get hit with ransomware. It encrypts everything on your computer, and since it was hooked up to that cloud service when the ransomware hit, it also went ahead and encrypted that data too and synched it up with the cloud service that way.

Both of these scenarios leave you without access to your data.

What if we did both backups though? In the flood, even though my computer, and my extra drive were destroyed in the flood, my cloud backup is safe. In the ransomware scenario, even though my computer and my cloud data is encrypted, that extra drive that was sitting on a shelf not plugged into my laptop, is safe.

So for truly safe backups, you want two different options. One, connected but offiste. The other, onsite but not connected all the time.

If you can get both of things covered, or have even more copies in other places, (one drive in the car for example, or at the office) you’ll always have a copy of your data and photographic memories to get back to. The challenge will be making sure you keep those copies up to date!

What are you doing for backups? Any suggestions for those new to worries about not being able to access their data?

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