Data Backup Day September 1, 2010

data backup day

As some residents of the East Coast prepare for evacuations due to Hurricane Earl this week, have you ever wondered what you’d do with your genealogy data if you had to evacuate due to a pending natural disaster?

Have you ever considered what you would do if you lost any or all of your data?  And I don’t mean just your genealogy research data – have you taken an inventory lately as to how much genealogy-related data you really have besides your database files?  Bookmarks, favorites, emails, scanned images and documents, blog posts – they all matter and they can all be gone in an instant.

Ways To Backup Your Data

“Back in the day” the ways of securing your data meant copying to CDs or *ugh* even floppy disks (remember those?). Luckily these days we have more and more devices including cheap external drives with 1 TB or more of store and online applications that will backup your data – for free!

  • Hard Drive: if you have room on your hard drive, create a “copy folder” of your essential data. This not only gives you a second copy but is what you can use to copy out to CDs, DVDs or other media.
  • CDs and DVDs: if your computer has a CD/DVD burner, you can create your own CDs and DVDs to store data.
  • External Hard Drive: an external hard drive can connect to your computer via a USB connection and they can hold 1 TB (that’s terabyte as in 1,000 GB) at a relatively cheap price (some under $100). What’s also nice is the size: some can fit in the palm of your hand.
  • Online Backup Services: there are a variety of sites that allow you to backup your data – some even for free!

Data Types To Backup

The main focus is your research database but think about backing up these items as well:

  • blog posts and templates
  • emails
  • Internet favorites and bookmarks
  • photos and scanned documents

Data Backup Resources

GeneaBloggers has developed a resource list of data backup methodologies and solutions.  Click here to learn how you can backup almost every aspect of your blog, your browser, your computer – even Macs!

Recent Genealogy Blogger Experiences

If you think that data loss can’t happen to you, see what your genealogy blogging colleagues have said recently:

Photo: Backup Backup Backup – And Test Restores at Flickr courtesy of Topato

© 2010, copyright Thomas MacEntee

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