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Tech happens. Back up your stuff!

You know what hurts more than losing or damaging your tech? Realizing all you have to replace, beyond the hardware. Some programs you don’t use all the time, so it’s easy to forget that they were there, until you need them. Taking a few minutes every month to back up your digital assets can save you much grief.

Phones fall into the toilet. Or the washing machine. Get left on airplanes. Motherboards burn out. Laptops get dropped. Servers crash. Upgrades don’t always work correctly the first time. Exes really do throw stuff out of moving cars. After you cuss/cry/throw a hissy fit, you’ll need to put the core of your tech back together again. Create your back-up plan, schedule it, then use it. Here, I’ll get you started:

  • Synch and backup your data. Especially before performing a system upgrade. This includes address books and calendars.
  • Make a backup of your backup and store it somewhere else. You can get a 128GB SD Card for less than $50 these days. That’s enough to hold your important electronic documents, pics from your kid’s school years, and more than a few beats, etc. Keep the smaller storage media in a fire & waterproof portable safe, along with your travel documents for get up and go-ability if you have to roll out with a quickness.
  • Take inventory of your software (and hardware), including serial numbers and purchase dates. Most software vendors only allow 2 installs per serial number. In extreme cases you may be able to get them to extend it. If your software is cloud-based, get familiar with their policies surrounding replaced devices before you need it. Nothing like remembering you need a program you forgot to replace when there’s a deadline attached.
  • Get/keep backup files of your website, including the database/MySQL data. Not all sites have databases, and not all services allow you access to them if they do. If you’re using free or site builder services (free WordPress, blogger, Wix, etc) you probably will not be able to create your own backup. Never rely solely on a company’s backup system. Ever. Always keep your own copy. Because poop happens and once gone, it’s gone.

Do these regularly and if your tools meet an unfortunate fate, your meltdown can be short and your recovery, swift.

Just for you, here’s a log printable (or fillable) to keep track of your hardware and software. The little box at the top is for your ‘last updated’ date.

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