Disaster Recovery For Consumers

On the heels of last month's discussion of data encryption, let's talk about ways you can protect your data from the unthinkable.

Corporations often use disaster recovery services, but how can low-budget users provide disaster recovery? It's not enough to copy your files to a disk that sits right next to your computer – what if, heaven forbid, the whole place goes? Redundant backups are those written to more than one medium, like archiving to CD as well as an external hard drive. And you'll want to keep at least one of those copies at an offsite location (such as a safety-deposit box or a friend or relative's house).

Let's say the unthinkable happens, and you're standing there holding your backup with no computer to put it on. This is why it's important for your backups to be easy to move to another computer. External hard drives and USB (aka thumb or flash) drives are great because they work almost anywhere. Same for burning to CD-R disks, but be aware not all CD drives can read CD-RW disks. If you use backup software, keep a copy of the install disk, serial number, manual and tech support phone number with your offsite backup. Also include a full list of your computer components: model and serial numbers, version of Windows or Mac OS, types of printers or other equipment. A list of your vital software programs with versions and serial numbers is good, too, and may also help your insurer.

How do you plan for disaster recovery? Post a comment and let me know.

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Posted byTriona Guidry at 9:27 AM  

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