Think about the growing data space demands we have at our own homes. Precious memories are now stored digitally. We have smart devices and cameras taking videos which are commonly now all high definition (HD) resulting in very large data files. They are in different file formats. We have also larger and larger megapixel photos being taken by cameras and smart phones. We purchase digital copies of movies now instead of optical discs (DVDs). Our music is now all digital as well, no more discs (CDs). This results in huge amounts of data that now needs to be stored at your home. Most people have not given any thought to how valuable this data is and what would happen if it was lost.
I have personally been contacted by many concerned people who have lost all of their irreplaceable pictures. Recently someone took many pictures at their daughter’s wedding and left all of the pictures on the camera’s memory card. They took that memory card into Walmart to get some prints made directly off the memory card. A few months later they went to access the card again from their computer and the card could not be read. They had not made any copies of all the electronic photo files… all was gone. We sent the card to a data recovery business and unfortunately nothing was recoverable. They were devastated!
Even if you did make a copy of all your data (home videos, movies, music, photos), where do you store them? What happens if there is a fire in your home? How much backup and archiving should you do? I feel if something is irreplaceable such as personal videos and photos which are worthwhile memories, you should have an offsite copy. This could be as simple as having an additional copy made onto optical discs or portable external hard drives.
I feel it can be very valuable to have an outside opinion from someone knowledgeable in IT. Similar best practices found in the business world can apply on a smaller scale to our homes. Discuss with them your current electronic needs (music, photos, videos), what you do, and suggestions for how to safeguard this data. For example, there are a number of online Internet-based backup providers. Several even provide free backup services up to certain amounts (e.g. www.mozy.com, www.idrive.com and explore.live.com/skydrive).