David Papp Blog

Protecting Your Digital Life

Protecting Your Digital Life

Backing up your important documents is something you should do regularly. But you should also do the same for your digital life. Your files are never completely safe and secure on your computer because there are many unforeseeable problems that can happen, such as hard drive failure, virus attacks, theft, or damage from a flood or fire.

Photographs of your family or travelling adventures, important camcorder footage, and your music collection all make up your entire digital life. By simply backing up your files, your digital life will stay protected. It’s important to remember to backup your files regularly, regardless of how you do it. There are reliable methods you can use to store your files safely and securely.

External drives that range in capacity from 250 gigabytes to 2 terabytes are good to use if you have a lot of large files, such as high-definition camcorder footage or all those priceless family pictures on your digital camera. Connect your hard drive to the USB port on your computer or laptop, and drag and drop your files over to your hard drive. Remember to keep your hard drive separate from your computer in a safe, dry place.

Try to purchase an external drive that automatically backs up your files on a set day and time every week. That way, you know that your files are backed up frequently.

Another great way to protect your digital life is backing up your files onto recordable discs that can store up to 4.7 gigabytes of data for a single-layer DVD or 8.5 gigabytes for a dual-layer.  The latest computers already have a DVD burner built-in, making it easy to transfer files onto a disc or DVD. To prevent damage and scratches, keep your discs in a case or spindle and it is recommended to keep these offsite in a secure location.

Small USB thumb-drives can also be used to backup your digital life. If you have a lot of files, purchase one that is the maximum capacity of at least  gigabytes. You can take your USB thumb-drive everywhere with you and it fits easily into your USB port on your computer. Note that there is a reason that some USB drives cost more than others as some are faster.

Online backup services keep your files away from your computer on a password-protected website. In the event of a fire or flood, your digital life is stored securely. Plus, you can access your files anywhere; all you need is an Internet-connected device usually with just a web browser. Microsoft’s Windows Live SkyDrive is a free online backup service that offers 25 gigabytes of free storage. Other great sites such as idrive.com and mozy.com both offer 2 gigabytes for free and have great software you can install which can do automatic scheduled backups.

9 thoughts on “Protecting Your Digital Life”

  1. I like using Dropbox to back up important files because I have it installed on both my computers, and it’s also accessible from the internet. Therefore, I’ll never lose my files.

  2. Well, I guess the most important and useful method to protect your digital life is to store your data at home on HDD or USB. Of course there is the problem that all of these things could be damaged so you lose everything but I don’t think that storing those data online is a good alternative.

    Because no matter how you store it online there is always the chance that some people might get it.

    • Yes, I know what you mean about the risks with storing data online. It’s a trade-off of convenience vs. security. Storing the offline data backups in a more secure place such as a safe deposit box might be an option.

      I must say, though, that I do appreciate the convenience of online storage and I do use it. I also have some USB storage which I keep in a fireproof file box.

    • There are 3rd party softwares than can encrypt your stuff and not check it themselves. You can also use these softwares with the most popular online storage like DropBox.

    • A USB isn’t that safe, specially if not used correctly. I had to learn the hard way that ejecting was really necessary before removing the USB. No one told me why it was important, but I later found out when it was too late and the damage was done. But yeah, I trust a USB more with my files than an online storing service, because you never know who else might be seeing those!

  3. This blog post makes me want to buy a thumb drive or a dvd to back up my digital files. I had always planned on doing so but never took the time to actually do it outside of my work files. Thanks for the insightful article. It served as a timely reminder for me.

  4. Choosing the best option or way to baclup your files would be very much dependent on the files nature itself.

    For personal file, photos and other sentimental stuff, I would personally use DropBox or Google Drive, because not all photos are worth saving, so you can easily upload all of them and then go back to erase the files that you don’t like. But for documents, such as a copy of birth certificates, licenses and other paper works, I would prefer a DVD copy or a thumb drive. I wouldn’t use an external drive, because for this important files, i would want to be in a specific and dedicated place.

    For work materials, my company already provided a very strict encryption for the mobile devices so I wouldn’t worry much about that.

  5. I should have took heed to this, because my laptop hard drive fried over a month ago taking all of my files along with it for a permanent nap. It’s a blessing that the files it broke down with weren’t of all that much importance, but I still do wish I used my external hard drive to save a bit of my digital life and instead, left it uselessly somewhere in the corner of my room. It was just the other day that I had my hard drive replaced, so this time around with my lesson learned, I’m going to use it.

  6. My old laptop just kicked the bucket, the thing won’t load anymore and odds are I’ll have to reinstall the OS again. First I need to find the CDs, of course 🙁 As if that wasn’t enough I had a lot important files in that laptop, files I might not be able to rescue! I really wish I had saved all those files into an external drive, but I was just in the process of saving some cash for that. I’ll learn from this mistake for sure!

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