Most of us use some sort of device to take our files with us on the go. This can be handy, but also scary, as this is when your data is most at risk for being damaged or stolen. Here, Tech Talker explains how to best keep files safe and secure when on the road.
This week, I’m going to talk about how to store your data when you’re on the go. When I say "on the go," I mean when you’re traveling, going to work, or just have a thumb drive on your keychain. I’ve seen a lot of people suffer from stolen or destroyed data, which can occur when you take your tech everywhere you go..
A majority people carry some sort of device with them to transport files when they are away from home. This is a great way to keep your files handy - especially when you’re on a computer but not connected to the internet, like on a bus, train or plane. However, this is also when your data is most at risk for being damaged or stolen.
Here are my quick and dirty tips for keeping your precious cargo safe:
Why to Backup:
First things first: always treat your storage device as if it is disposable. Now, I don’t mean to say you’re going to be throwing away any laptops, thumb drives, or portable hard drive. However, you should be ready to lose them at any point, and know that your data is backed up somewhere and secure.
If you keep the mindset that your device may disappear at any moment, you’ll be much more aware of the data that is on it. I set a reminder on my phone once a month to "Your laptop was stolen," just to remind myself that data on it could be gone in a moment’s notice.
This may sound as if I’m being too cautious, but pause for a moment and imagine all of the important information that is on your laptop: all of your personal files, business files, pictures, videos - you name it. Now picture that when you go out to your car, it's all gone.
This is all too often a realty for many people that have devices stolen. Oftentimes, the data that is missing is far more valuable than the cost of the hardware it was on.
How to Backup:
This is why I stress always having a backup of your data. If your device were ever stolen, as tragic as it would be, at least you would be able to fall back on your latest backup- and hopefully not lose too much data.
For this reason, I really like services such as DropBox, Copy, and Google Drive, which allow you to sync your files to the web. This makes it so that you are able to access you files anywhere you have an internet connection, and because the file lives on multiple devices (including the internet), you have a way of accessing it even if one of your devices is gone - whether it be broken, lost or stolen!
Another word of caution: please do not back up to a device that is in the same physical location as your computer. I’ve seen cases where a laptop was stolen, and the portable hard drive it was backed up to was also in the same bag. So even though the person had everything copied, it was stolen right along with the laptop, making the backup useless.