DisasterProof Your Digital Possessions

Monday, April 11, 2011 - 8:21am

Hurricane forecasters are predicting an active season this year, and many other potential disasters should have you scrambling to protect your digital keepsakes.

It's that time of the year, when much of the country is subjected to either tornados, flooding, mudslides, wildfires, lightning strikes and, pretty soon, hurricanes.

Plus there's also the occasional waterman break or house fire that can put property and memories in serious jeopardy.

That's why consumer advocates are on a campaign to “backup your digital data".

"You don't have a backup of that data, of those memories, of those photos, you're going to lose a lot”, warns Paul Reynolds, Electronics Editor for Consumer Reports. “You're going to lose a big chunk of your life now!"

Reynolds says there are just too many options these days and few excuses for not backing up digital data.

“Well, I think the first thing to do is make sure it's on something else other than the primary device it's on, mostly your computer", says Reynolds.

Keepsake photos and videos should be transferred to a CD, DVD or external hard drive. Then, he says, remove it from the premises.

"The hard drive doesn't do you a whole lot of good if it gets consumed by the same fire that eats your computer", advises Reynolds.

Take the backup to your office, a relative's house…

"Or think about an online backup taking your information up to ‘the cloud’ -- a server that will store it for you", says Reynolds.

Such “cloud” servers have gained popularity because digital data stored here can be accessed through a variety of devices -- not just a home computer.


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