Backup Basics

I'm going to tell  you how to never lose the data you care about. Whether it's your baby photos, your company financials, or anything else, I have a process that works when you use it. I call it my Backup Basics process.  And you don't need to be technical to understand and use it.

The one time I didn't use my backup basics process, I  had a terrifyingly big scare: I  lost several months of videos and photos of my family, including my little boy, and the last couple months of life for my cat, Tigger.  For the first time in nearly two decades, I personally trusted a backup system without verifying it.  I use a Mac and an iPhone, so I happen to use iCloud- and I decided to use iCloud to backup my iPhone. The Apple Store did something awesome for me and replaced an iPhone 4s with a battery problem.  I confirmed all 19.7GB of data was backed up (I pay for 50GB of iCloud space), and I even made one more backup via iCloud in the Apple Store, minutes before the swap.  It said I was backed up.  I got home with my new phone, and it didn't restore.  

For most people a great backup is a lot like a UFO: You've heard about them but never seen one.
For most people a great backup is a lot like a UFO: You've heard about them but never seen one.

AppleCare told me I had a corrupt backup.  My heart sank. It wasn't the dozens of hours of productivity I was going to lose over the next few days trying to remember which apps I had and where muscle memory told me I could find them.  It was the photos and videos. In case you're wondering "isn't iCloud automatically backing all your stuff up?", the answer is no.  I'll write about why iCloud is not a backup next week.

I took this more seriously than most people.  My company recovers data for people and business who have lost it, and I'm in the business of helping business owners never lose data. I have a certification in backup management from the master of backup management.  I even have a master's degree related to this stuff.  The one time I broke my own rules and trusted one of my favorite technology companies, I wasted three weeks of my life stressed out and very nearly lost thousands of priceless memories.

So over the next several weeks I'm going to share with you how to never lose your data.

After two decades working with several thousand customers, and tens of thousands of service orders, I can tell you that most backups fail for only one of two reasons:

  1. You put it off and never got to it.
  2. You think you're backed up, but you're not.

When backups fail, you lose things that are really important to you.  Photos of your baby, photos of your family, your business financial records like your QuickBooks data, and documents you can't even identify right now because you won't know they're lost until you're looking for them.

Stay posted over the next several weeks and I'll give you the best holiday gift I can think of: Peace of mind from knowing how to really backup your important information, and confidence that your backup is good.