So… first post on the newly added blog section, which I have unfortunately been ignoring for a bit of time.

I’ve been working on some topics… most of all… where do I start? Hacking? Security? What’s hot in tech?

No…I want this to be something useful to help people with the technology in their lives, especially since how fast it changes and all the information we are beset with.

Where do I want to start? The basic grounding, that is not sexy and a lot of people do not feel is that important… until they really need it.


I know… groans from everyone. “Backups? Why should I care about backups? What the hell are they? I don’t need them…”

Backups are your insurance policy, and if you have a digital camera (or a phone with a camera you use) that you store your pictures/documents/music/tax returns/etc. on, you need to take frequent backups of your machine.

At its most basic, a backup of your data is a point in time copy of your data. It is the bits of data that comprises whatever you care about. From that point on, backups can get drastically different and varying. At a more complex level, they are a point it time backup with frequent small backups of changes made to that file. Why should you care about having a backup of your data? If you don’t have a backup copy of your data and something goes wrong, frequently your data will be gone. Poof. As if it never existed because the digital world does not have anything tangible in it. It is all machines that function off of 1’s and 0’s.

All machines can, and will, break at some point. Sometimes they fail because of wear and tear; sometimes they fail because of accidents; sometimes they fail because of acts of god and other times they fail because of deliberate actions on the part of others. We do not get to pick how and when they fail or even  the cause of the failure. A good backup is that insurance policy that your data is safe, within reason.

Now, that being said, backups can be as simple as copying your files once, to active monitoring of files and replicating of them somewhere else. Before you just burn things to a DVD or buy a external hard drive, you need to go through the same process that the big companies do. You need to ask yourself these three questions:

  1. How much data will I need to back up?
  2. What do you want to recover from?
  3. How long can you wait to be fully recovered?

Why these three questions? Because our digital lives are comprised of a different sets of data, with different levels of importance and it is all bound by time. These three questions are all sliders, with a low to high scale and will inform your solutions and costs. Sliding anyone of these three items scale, will impact the others. If you have a small digital footprint that can lead to simple backup plan with a low cost and likely, a low level of effort on your part. If you want to be able to recover 10 years of data after a massive earthquake, that is a completely different different backup strategy and cost.

“But I don’t want to put that much thought into it…” I totally understand that. A good solid plan should be approached with a rule of three. Your data, three ways:

  • Primary
  • Local backup
  • Remote backup (not in your house)

This strategy will cover many of the common things you’ll run into: Hardware failure, smaller natural disasters (fire, flood, power outages, etc.) and theft. Cost, time, effort are all sliding scales based off the three questions.

If you need help with identifying your needs or what some options are, please feel free to contact us.