Back Up Your Back Up…or Pay The Price
I went to a concert last night that lasted about an hour too long in my humble opinion. As I tried to figure out what to do to avoid going insane, I lapsed into the category of “those people” that play on their phone instead of being engaged. I was catching up on my news for the day when I stumbled across an article on MSNBC, very appropriately titled, “The five stages of data-loss grief: What to expect when all of your photos, files and music are gone forever.” I nearly blew my cover when I nearly jumped out of my chair to show my boyfriend my find! It was like they had been secretly following me.
Recently, I had this EXACT same thing happen. I was purchasing a new laptop and was in the process of consolidating all my files into one place. In preparation, I moved everything to my external hard-drive. Then, one day for no apparent reason, my trusty “back-up” ceased to work. Can you believe it?! As a consultant, my data was the single most important thing I relied on – it meant a jump-start on a presentation for a tight deadline, an idea box when I was stumped, and a virtual history of the contributions I made through my work.
Just like the article so perfectly described, I started going through the stages of grief. To add insult to injury, the things I needed just keep piling up…
- My aunt wanted me to send that one picture from my cousin’s wedding she didn’t get…it was on the drive
- A prospective consulting client wanted me to send a copy of my resume…it was on the drive
- I wanted to refresh my business plan for 2010…my notes were on the drive…
- I needed to get my accountant the breakdown of all my expenses and income from this year…yep, on the drive
Every firm I know invests a great deal of time and energy educating employees about securing and backing up data – they have to! After all, these activities preserve two of their greatest assets on the line: reputation and intellectual capital. This is an industry whose commodity is information and ideas. As individuals, we seem to pay attention to securing data. If you don’t think that’s important just look at the recent iPhone incident. But so many of us take backing up our data for granted – even though we KNOW better. We think “I’m too busy right now,” or “that won’t happen to me.” So what do you do when your back up fails?
- Recreate everything – yeah right – talk about a time sucker!
- Send it somewhere to recover your data – as I’ve learned the hard way, this can cost as much as $1000. That’s a painful lesson…
- Hope your colleagues/clients have copies they can send you – which will do wonders for your reputation…
So what have I learned after all finally passing through all the stages of grief?
- Just Do It: The bottom line is you never know when you will get the blue screen of death or your external hard drive will just stop working, so, make the time to back-up your data and do it regularly. Weekly is ideal.
- One is not enough: Plain and simple.
Talk to me! If you are a gadget guru share the best tools you’ve found to back-up data and why…me (and my wallet) would like to know!
Frucci, Adam. “The five stages of data-loss grief: What to expect when all of your photos, files and music are gone forever.”
Gizmodo.com. 2010. Web (MSNBC) April 28, 2010.