A week into 2015 already. Hopefully you’ve been spending some time deciding what to leave in 2014 (you can read my posts on the topic here and here), but today I want to talk about something you definitely don’t want to leave behind — your files, photos, phone contacts, etc.
I know from experience that losing your phone (mine was stolen from my pocket when I was 7 months’ pregnant by some scumbag I wish nothing but scabies on) or having a laptop die on you (my little girl decided it would be a great idea to pull it off the table) can be a painful experience. Thankfully for me, I’d gotten into the good habit of backing things up, so I didn’t lose too much information. However, I definitely realised that I need to be backing up on a MUCH more frequent basis, so I now do it at least once a week.
If you do nothing else today, back up your devices. Make a list of everything that has information stored on it, and go ahead and make a back-up. Then slot a space in your diary to do it as often as you feel is necessary. If you’re a heavy user, once a day is probably your best bet. If you’re a light user, once a fortnight or so should be fine.
Look, I may know a lot of things, but I don’t know the ins and outs of every single tech device out there. I’ve no idea what the best way to back up yours is. Consult the user manual or your friendly neighbourhood Google.
Here’s what I (vaguely) know:
- If you’ve an iPad and/or iPhone, connect them to your computer, open up iTunes, click the little phone/tablet icon in the top left, and then click “Back Up Now”. You may be asked if you want to back up your apps. You do.
- If you’ve got a Mac, use the uber handy Time Machine to make a back-up. Connect an external hard-drive (you can get one relatively cheap from Amazon, eBay, computer shops, etc.), open the Time Machine app and follow the steps. You only have to do this once; after that, once the hard drive is connected, your computer will automatically back up every hour or so. Magic!
- If you own a Windows computer, you can connect an external hard drive, open up the corresponding folder in My Computer, and do a good old-fashioned copy and paste of all your files and folders. (It’ll take a while.) I’m sure there’s a better way but that’s the only one I know of.
- There are also various online back up options, none of which I know anything about because I’m practically an old woman now so new technology is foreign to me. Also, I don’t trust “the cloud”. I can’t see the cloud and I don’t know where it is, what it’s doing, or who it’s hanging out with. Fuck that shit.
One more thing: don’t forget your digital cameras! You’ll probably have one lying around somewhere, even if most of your photography is done on your trusty sidekick smartphone, so go ahead and transfer those photos to your computer (where’ll you back them up, of course) or bring them to a camera shop and have them put onto a CD.
Long story short, you don’t want to get your shit together only to lose it all. Back that shit up!
Congratulations, you now have the right to feel decidedly smug.