April 2017 Backups – Yet Again!

I’m afraid that I am going to get on my hobby horse, again– I do this when I start to see a rise in the number of a specific type of problem as I go about my daily visits.

If you are using a computer then there will almost certainly be some files that are important to you. It doesn’t matter if they are pictures, letters, invoices, receipts, spreadsheets or videos, just imagine for a moment how you would feel if you didn’t have them, and then consider the following simple question.

Have you got a decent up-to-date backup of all your important stuff?

If you do, then that’s great but here’s another one for you – Are you sure that your backup includes all the stuff that is important to you?

How about this one – Do you know how to recover your stuff from your backup should you ever have to?

OK, so why am I being all doom and gloomy about backups again? That is simple. People who don’t have them, regularly spoil my otherwise nice and fun working days. I don’t like the look on people’s faces shortly after I say things like “Have you got anything on there that you would be worried about losing?” or “I will try my best to get your files back – but there are no guarantees.”

Setting up a backup after such problems have occurred, and showing people how easy it can be to maintain a backup, can be very satisfying for me, but it would be so much better if everyone did this anyway. It’s not that difficult, you get yourself a couple of suitably sized memory sticks, spend a little time setting up a piece of backup software (there are some good options out there – even free ones), and then it can become something that takes a couple of minutes or less of your daily routine, and it can even be automated.

If you don’t do backups, then think about doing them! If you need some help setting one up, then give me a shout. I would much rather see you under those circumstances than when your hard disk has died or you are a victim or Ransomware, and you may have nothing to show for years of work or accumulated memories.

Yes! I admit it! I am trying to scare those of you who don’t do backups into doing them! The rise in Ransomware alone should probably scare you more than I can. This is software that finds its way onto your computer, and then encrypts all your files, and won’t unencrypt them till you pay the ransom. Very clinical, nasty and effective unless you are in the habit of maintaining a good backup. I know a number of people who regret taking the “it won’t happen to me approach” There was even a story in the news not too long ago about a police force that actually paid the ransom!

Think about it, and if you aren’t confident that you are doing an effective backup, then do something about it! Even if you are, then check that you know how to get a file back from your backup. Actually try it and make sure that you can do it. You need to know you can should the time come when it is important, otherwise why do a backup?!

As a thank you for reading this far, I will tell you that my personal favourite backup software comes from 2BrightSparks and is called SyncBack. Google will get you there.

OK that’s it for now, thanks for your time. Feel free to forward this on to others if you want to.

As usual if your PC / Network / Internet / Email / Backup or whatever isn’t running smoothly, my number is below. If you want to ask the odd question or have any suggestions for a topic for another Newsletter or you are finding something particularly frustrating / problematic on the computer front, why not send me an email. I’d be happy to pop over to setup your backup process for you too if you think that might be a good idea ;-).

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