A Lesson in Backups

A Lesson in Backups
I have always lectured, nagged and pushed my family, friends and client to make sure that they backup their computer on at least a weekly basis. In fact as part of my job as a consultant I setup and perform backups for multiple clients. But do I practice what I preach? No – not as well as I should.

I try to be good about manually backing up my computer and have had selecting an online backup solution on my to-do list for quite some time. My excuses for not backing up are the same I hear from clients all the time – no time, too much work, not enough drive space – the list goes on and on.

Then it happened. My laptop was stolen. Someone (and I am being a lady here) climbed in an open window in the middle of the night and snatched my laptop off of my coffee table. I found it missing when I came out in the early morning and it was a devastating feeling – second to the realization a stranger was in my apartment while I was sleeping in the next room.

After the dust settled and I wrapped my mind around what happened (actually still trying to come to terms with it) my next thought was – oh crap! I couldn’t remember the last time I spent the time backing up my computer and I went into another tailspin.

What had I lost? When did I backup last? Was there any confidential information? Should I change my passwords? Yeah, it was a total meltdown that was followed by a major guilt trip – why haven’t I backed up? Why didn’t I close the windows? That noise I heard in the middle of the night – was that the thief? It was a lot to process.

After calming down and thinking through what I had on my laptop I am fortunate that a large percentage of my data has been posted online or emailed so I can re-create that data. I do have several backups that cover my older data but I still lost a lot of data including business records, tax documents, music and photos.

It will be some time before I realize the extent of the loss. I am currently changing all my passwords (to be safe) while looking for a new laptop and when I start to rebuild my new machine I am sure I will think of more data that I am missing. All I can do now is look forward and hope that I have not lost anything major (cross fingers I never get audited).

Now is the lesson learned – backup! No excuses! I have started looking into online backup solutions that will automatically backup my machine and will report back on my findings. Until then backup!

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