5 Tips for Backing Up Your Digital Possessions

Are Your Photos, Documents, and Information Safe?

pablo (34)We protect our physical assets.

Our belongings, valuables, and more.

Yet, in this day, more and more of our assets are digital rather than physical.

What could you lose if you computer or phone were broken or stolen? Are you digital assets protected and backed up?

Is Your Digital Life Backed Up?

Your music, your photos, your documents… so many possessions we have today are digital. It makes them easy to transport, copy, and save.

Yet, it a blink of an eye, they can all be gone.

A crashed hard drive. A lost or stolen phone. And all of your memories, data, or confidential information can be gone.

I shudder when I recall the story of a close friend who lost all five years of his young child’s photos from a crashed hard drive. Those photos were gone and never replaceable.

Another friend lost years of photos, and thousands of contact phone numbers when their phone was lost on a trip.

Could this happen to you?

If you read this site regularly or follow me on Twitter, you know that I have multiple backup systems in place for my digital life.

However, even I recently had a scare.

It wasn’t that I didn’t back something up but that I briefly misplaced a digital backup. It was an old photo archive from 2003. (Well, before iPhones and modern cloud services.) This old photo archive contained some of my son’s baby photos and more.

After a few stressful moments of searching, I did find the archive in question. Needless to say, I re-labeled my archives and even made a few extra copies.

Are you digital possessions protected? And more importantly, do you know where they are?

Here are 5 Tips to help your Digital backups are safe:

  1. Backup Regularly – Backing up your digital possessions “once in a blue moon” isn’t good enough. If you don’t have a regular schedule for your backups, inevitable you will lose data. As well, you will quickly fall off the habit.
  2. Backup Automatically – Even better than having a schedule to backup your data is doing it automatically. You don’t want to have to “remember” to back up your digital assets. Whether it is your laptop or phone, set it to automatically back itself up. (Crashplan is great service for your home computers.)
  3. Don’t Store Backups Next to your Computer – This is common sense, but many people store their external hard drive backups right next to their computer. If a thieves grab your computer, they are going grab all the technology gear on your desk. (Director Francis Ford Coppola once lost 15 years of writings because his backup device was sitting next to his laptop. )
  4. Don’t Forget Your Phone – It is amazing how many people do not consider the valuable information contained on their phone. Pictures, contact info, passwords, and more that would be gone if you lost your phone. Make sure you phone is backed up (iCloud is a no-brainer if you are using an iPhone).
  5. Password Protection – Protect your digital devices and data with strong passwords. Many people continue to use passwords like 123456 or the same passwords on all their accounts. Apparently, even Mark Zuckerberg is guilty of using the same password across his accounts. His Pinterest and other social accounts were recently hacked because he had the same password on all of them. (1Password is a great iOS and macOS password manager. Lastpass is also an excellent option.)

Protect Your Digital Assets

Don’t put your digital possessions at risk.

You can lose of photos, data, and documents in the blink of an eye. However, digital information has the advantage that you can copy and protect it.

Backup your digital assets regularly, and whenever possible, automate these processes.

If you do lose your phone or have a hard drive crash, you’ll be comfortable knowing that you can restore your data from backups.

Question: Do you know where your digital backups are if you where ever to need them? What is your backup plan? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Ryan Friden

    Thanks for the practical tips. I’ve never really thought about keeping storage devices stored away from my computer, but that makes sense.

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