Today’s post is more for you than your kids (although it might be useful for both). But first, a question: When was the last time you backed up your computer, your photos or your iPad or smartphone?
Have you ever wondered what would happen if your computer blew up (maybe from a power surge) or your house was burgled (really hope not) and your computer destroyed?
If you are like most of us, your precious family photos are on your computer. Or there’s a decade’s worth of documents, spreadsheets or email that you’ve got sitting on your computer. Sure you could live without this info but I’m sure you’d rather not!
It used to be that you had to have a physical hard drive to back up your computer. Or maybe even a USB. But not any more. We all create so much ‘stuff’ on our computers, it’s just not practical to backup everything ever time you make a change.
And so we now have a range of easy to use tools that are ‘Cloud Based’. Want to know about ‘Cloud Computing’? See this post. But the shorthand is, you are storing your data on other people’s (or companies’) computers – all around the world.
Is this safe? Well, yes. As far as safety on the Internet goes. There are a range of different services and I have heard good things about many of them.
But, I was asked the other day which back-up system I use so I thought I’d share. I use Dropbox. This isn’t a promotion but just a recommendation from a fan!
It works this way:
- Sign up for an account on their website
- Download the Dropbox Folder to your computer (every computer you own & your tablets too)
- Sign in to Dropbox on your computer
- Add any files to this Dropbox folder and they automatically sync to the Dropbox website.
So how safe is Dropbox?
Here’s what they say –
Dropbox uses modern encryption methods to both transfer and store your data.
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and AES-256 bit encryption.
This may be gooble-dee-goock to you but what it means is that your documents/photos whatever are encrypted (turned in to code) when they are sent to Dropbox. So quite safe. But…
The Internet is NEVER a place for personal info though – so credit card numbers, bank details or any private documents don’t belong in the cloud. You need to back those up separately!
You family photos and documents are part of your family’s history. It would be very sad to loose all of that because a power pole goes down and the power surge fries your computer.
Try a cloud back up system and you don’t need to think about it again!
Every time you are connected to the Internet, Dropbox will synchronise your files.
This also means you can access your documents or photos from anywhere. So you started that birthday invite on your laptop at home and want to finish it on the desktop at work?
Go to the Dropbox website and find the document – anywhere, from any Internet-connected computer 🙂
Let me know how you go! Do you use Dropbox or another similar service?