When working with computers for any length of time,
it's inevitable that you will experience a disaster of
some sort. There's the crash that happens just before a
document is saved. The failure that renders a disk
unreadable. You get the idea.
Are you prepared?
Being prepared, of course, means being backed up.
What would you lose if your hard disk self-destructed?
What if it failed so badly that it was totally lost
forever? Would your important documents and information
be recoverable from other sources?
It should be.
Backing up is extremely easy to do. You can even do
it without thinking- you can set it up to happen
automatically every night. Yes, there are computer geeks
who have complicated scripts and programs in place to
backup their army of computers, but you don't need all
that. There are many simple, automated solutions, and
once you've experienced a failure, you'll admit they're
worth every penny you invested.
You may be thinking hard disks don't fail that often.
That may or may not be true, but it does happen.
But there's something perhaps even worse and that's
having your computer stolen. Not only do you not have
your data, but some thief might.
That is where encryption becomes critical. If you
have sensitive personal or business data on your hard
drive, and especially if your hard drive is on a
portable computer, you should seriously consider using
an encryption tool such as the free open source tool
TrueCrypt. TrueCrypt creates virtual encrypted drives
that are nearly impossible to crack without the proper
passphrase, and works with any file and any application.
Don't rely on applications, such as Word or Excel, or
tools such as WinZip, for password protection. Most of
those are fine for keeping honest people honest, but
they can be easily cracked with information found on the
There's data loss, and there's data loss - it's
important not only to backup your data for yourself, but
also protect yourself from data loss in the form of
theft by making sure that your sensitive data is
encrypted and inaccessible to prying eyes.
Get more free tech help and advice from Leo Notenboom
http://ask-leo.com With over 30 years of industry
experience, including an 18 year career as a software
engineer with Microsoft, Leo gives real answers to real
questions from ordinary computer users at
Subscribe to Leo's weekly newsletter now and receive a
free ebook: "Internet Safety - Keeping Your Computer
Safe on the Internet", a collection of steps, tools and
concepts you need to know to keep your computer and your