Are You Backing Up Your Computer?

A computer that isn’t regularly backed up is a problem waiting to happen — especially when you’re a freelancer and every bit of your professional life is on that laptop or desktop. IT pro Robert Granholm has put together resources for getting the best back up systems in place for entrepreneurs, freelancers and the rest of us that both rely on our computers for everything and don’t have a boss to tell us to get a move on. Robert was kind enough to answer a few questions for me.

How did you get into providing IT, especially online?

I’ve always been technically inclined but my troubleshooting days were probably a result of the time I spent breaking computers in my teen years. I have a lot of memories of taking down my Dads computer and then hurrying to somehow fix the damage I’d done before he found out. I was hooked and continued to work with computers from then on.

The jobs and social interests I developed helped grow me into a people person and what you see today. The online aspect is somewhat recent in providing tech support. Traditionally, you need an in house tech or your best option is Google or cousin Fred. I have nothing against Google (or Fred), but the search engine can’t have a real contextual conversation with you…yet. I saw a need with solopreneurs, entrepreneurs and anyone starting a movement online for IT support and with the growing availability of remote control, communication and content delivery systems I am glad to be a resource.

What sort of backup options are there for a freelancer? What about if the freelancer in question isn’t particularly technical?

The freelancer has constantly changing client data so any backup solutions need to be near immediate and automatic. The two major considerations are to backup to the “cloud” meaning an online service of some sort or to a local device like an external hard drive or a thumb drive. The actual options are numerous, there’s no shortage of tools out there (Dropbox, Mozy, Time Machine, Carbonite, Crash Plan etc), but knowing how to use them and taking action to do so is why almost 50% of people don’t have a good backup.

I recommend backing up to the cloud and an external location, but for the most non-technically minded a service like Dropbox is ideal. Simply put, it places a folder on your computer, everything in that folder gets backed up. That’s it. The free service get’s capped at 2GB of data, but for immediate projects it works well. It’s not really meant to be a complete computer backup solution though.

What factors should a freelancer, or someone else with a body of creative work that would be impossible to replicate, consider when it comes to back ups?

The most important factors would be time, frequency and redundancy, but I’ll be honest, since so many people don’t backup at all…just taking some sort of action is going to be a big deal. The best solutions are going to be those that are automatic, and in multiple locations. Even if you’re not a big business you should operate like one, try to have a backup in 3 locations all the time. It’s not practical to go “lock up” your PSD files, but a copy on your computer, on the cloud, and one other remote location like a laptop or an external drive works well.

What sort of help can a reader get from your ebook?

The guidebook is meant to be an action guide for those less technically inclined. The biggest problem in backing up is that people don’t know where to start or how to take action. The Backup Informer was built to take you from decision point (with a decision map) on what solution fits you best to a completely set up backup plan with plain English, pictures, and video support. The guide features a “jump to solution” format to help you make the best choices, learn about why it’s the best for you, and then a set-up guide for that solution.

If you’re part of the 50& of people NOT currently backing up, check out The Backup Informer and get a system in place today, it won’t hurt, it won’t take long, and you can do it.

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