I try to keep PlanetPhillip as focused as possible on its primary content. I have a personal blog for other subjects, so it’s not too hard to keep things separate. However, sometimes things crossover and today is time for one of those “things”! I’ve had a difficult last two months and I want to quickly document the lessons I’ve learnt and hopefully you can learn from my mistakes.
I recently lost ALL my back up files. I accept full responsibility for this but there were special circumstances. I had moved all my files onto one external HDD. It took a long time and due to space requirements I had to delete duplicates. I moved everything around on Tuesday with the intention of copying everything to DVDs on the coming weekend. On Wednesday the HDD decided to go crazy and BAM! Everything lost. The really important stuff was saved but I am sure I lost a few rare files.
Always have duplicates. Preferably on different physical drives. After this experience I found a cool free application that synchronizes to folders (And all subfolders) either manually or automatically. It’s called BackUp and it’s made by Comodo, the firewall and Antivirus I use. I still backup to DVD but this is just another level.
Somebody hacked my Goggle account last week and to cut a long and boring story short I lost every: ALL emails, contacts, blogger account, Analytics settings, calendar events, EVERYTHING. AT first I was really depressed but strangely I am almost relieved by it. There’s nothing I can do and Google don’t seem particularly concerned. If the information was that important I should have copied it somewhere else.
Don’t rely on online email storage. I’m lucky because I have a domain (PlanetPhillip.com) so I can have as many email address as I want but I always liked the idea of accessing my email from anywhere. In reality I only did it once or twice a year. But it was the idea not the reality that appealed to me. It’s possible to use POP3 for gmail and download everything to a local computer but I thought “This is Google; they are bound to have backups if I ever need them“. I think it’s wrong of Google to offer emails services, or any other kind of service, if they can’t support it, and support means back up.
I have a terrible and very stupid thing to admit. I make this admission in the hope that you gain from it.
I used the same password for nearly all my online accounts!
There, I’ve said it. Very stupid wasn’t it. (Past tense because now I have changed ALL my passwords to something else. I have a little note book next to the computer with everything written done. Now, this password was impossible to guess unless you knew me as a child, but that’s not the point. There are plenty of secure password managers available, in fact I am trying one called i-Vault, again by Comodo, but I think I like my notebook better.
Don’t use the same password for everything. Yes, it’s a little harder having to write down different passwords but that’s better than having accounts stolen.
I don’t consider myself stupid and I am fairly competent regarding computers but the bottom line is I became lazy in all three points above. Please try and make sure your 2007 doesn’t contain the same mistakes!