The year was…. well, quite a long time ago, and it was the night before my Year 12 Maths Methods SAC was due (for the non-Victorians a SAC is a major assessment worth a good chunk of my overal grade). I had worked really hard on it, and was beginning to feel deeply relieved it was almost over, when I pressed a button – and suddenly it wasn’t there anymore! The rest of the night was spent rocking on the floor in an almost catatonic state, occaisionally gazing hopefully at my computer competent friend who had come over to try and retrieve my work.
The moral of the story is basically DON’T BE ME! And how do you do that? BACK UP YOUR WORK! The odds are really high that at some point you will lose data that is important to you (I have two years of photos missing from when my laptop was stolen, because apparently I had to suffer a lot before I learnt that particular lesson).
How do you back up? Two easy ways are with an external hard drive, and to the cloud. It makes sense to have both, in case one of the back ups fail.
You can get a hard drive at your local computer shop, or Officeworks. You can use it to back up all your files or just specific ones. Once you have set it up you should just be able to plug it in, and it will back up for you in the background while you keep working.
Of course if your house burns down you’ll lose your hard drive and your computer, which is where a cloud back up comes in handy. You’re probably familiar with Dropbox and Google Drive, although there are lots of other options out there.
One thing you might want to consider is privacy, as many people have raised concerns about Dropbox and Google. There are alternatives like Spideroak (and soon Proton Drive) that are ‘zero knowledge’, meaning that your files are encrypted on your computer before they go to the cloud, and not even the service that stores them can open them.
Even though backing up does take a little bit of effort and money to set up, it is well worth it for the peace of mind.