* We're in the computer business. Nearly every day, we witness the disappointment on people's faces when we have to tell them that their stored information can't be recovered.
* If I can convince you of anything in today's blog, I hope it is this: EVERY hard drive fails. Some drives fails sooner than others, some seem to go on forever, but the real fact is that all hard drives crash. Even the new USB drives with no mechanical parts fail. In the last three months, I've had two 8GB USB drives crash. (Oh, and in case you're wondering, these drives were always unplugged using the proper procedure and were never left just sitting in the USB port.)
* I've said all of this to get here: backing up your personal data should be at the top of your list of things to do with your computer - right after installing critical updates.
* How you do backups is another question. Some people back up onto DVDs, CDs, external drives and all of these methods have their pros and cons. My two biggest beefs with these kinds of backups are: 1) can you discipline yourself to back up often enough that you won't lose critical data? and 2) when most people use these methods, they keep the backup right with the computer or nearby leading me to ask this question: what good are your backups should you have (God forbid) a fire or should someone break in and steal your computer and everything nearby?
* For us here at Keystone Computer Concepts (http://www.k-c-c.us/), although we have the knowledge, we simply don't have the time to perform backups. For this reason, plus our unwillingness to have our data go up in flames or out the door with a crook, we use strictly online data backup. (Just visit our website and you'll see how important we think it is.)
* The bottom line is this: whatever method you choose, just make sure you are backing up your data. There's almost nothing worse than losing an important file and having no way of getting it back - except maybe looking into the face or hearing the voice of someone who has.