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Data Backup Day – August 1, 2012

Have you made backing up your data part of your disaster preparedness and planning?  Today is Data Backup Day, August 1, 2012, and in the United States here we’re coming up on hurricane season.

Now is the time to think about preserving all your genealogy data including data files as well as scanning family photos (click here for information on tools to scan those precious family photos). It is important to be proactive when it comes to making sure that your genealogy data is secure!

Data Backup Resolutions

  • Take inventory of what data needs to be backed up and how often backups should be performed. Make sure you include favorites and bookmarks, blog posts, website files, etc. These days our genealogy “data” is so much more than just our genealogy software databases.
  • Select a backup method that works for you. Check out online services such as DropBox which not only gives you 2GB of free online storage, but also synchronizes your data changes across many devices including your netbook and smart phone or mobile device!
  • Don’t put off backing up your data! You never know when a hard drive might fail or your home could be hit by fire, flood or some other disaster.
  • While you’re at it, also consider securing paper documents and photos in archival acid-free and waterproof containers. And make plans to attend the next Scanfest when you can scan these items to create a digital backup.
  • Help spread the word about the importance of data backups for genealogists and family historians. Place a status message on your Facebook page or using Twitter. Make a mention in your genealogical society newsletter or make the announcement in person next time you attend a meeting.

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: Hurricane Ike, 2008. Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

©2012, copyright Thomas MacEntee

2 thoughts on “Data Backup Day – August 1, 2012

  1. Great topic. Something we all know we need to do but often never get around to.

    I have an HP home server as one back up, an external terabyte drive as another and I also use a 64G flash drive for my top priority files which I keep in my purse. I try to keep to a once a month backup schedule to the external drives which I do as part of my pc clean up as well.

    I’ve made good progress on my photo scanning but have a long way to go. But, my paper files are my downfall. I need to get on to this aspect of scanning to be sure.

    I might add that, in terms of our database programs, proper citation is a form of backup as well. It may cost you to replace the paper version but at least you’ll know exactly where to get the information again.

    Thanks as always Thomas

  2. After evacuating due to a wildfire in 2003 I subscribed to an offsite backup service (this in addition to making regular backups on an external harddrive). This served me well during a second evacuation in 2007 and also when my machine crashed and I had to completely reinstall the OS. At a minimum I backup weekly and more often if I’ve been researching a lot. My biggest challenge is to finish scanning all the paper research that I inherited from my mother. Currently the papers are stored in fireproof containers.

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