Data Backup Day~ Are You Prepared?

Posted: July 1, 2012 in Family
Tags: , , , , , ,

Gigabyte motherboard.

Gigabyte motherboard. (Photo credit: Francois Schnell)

Today is data backup day! There are so many reasons to back up your genealogy data. What if a natural disaster were to catch you unprepared? Remember the tsunami last year? How many people do you think were prepared for such a catastrophic event such as this? What about the current wild fires raging through Colorado? You just never know when disaster may strike and it may not even be closely related to the environmental changes either. Your computer could crash and then where would you be? I cannot stress enough about backing up your data to save all the work you have done. I personally, would kick myself in the okole if I lost everything that I had on my family tree! Your family tree is just the start of your backup; there are photos that are irreplaceable if all you have are digital copies, not to mention military records, birth and death certificates, funeral cards and obituary clippings and on and on.

I have been saving paperwork and documents for over 10 years! I need a filing cabinet just dedicated to my research on my family. Organization is key and the process of backing up all your information is part of keeping everything in order. Am I organized? I wish I could say “Yes, absolutely!” But if truth be told, I haven’t backed up anything in several months. From the time I was in college studying Graphic Design, my instructors always said to save your work! You would think I would know better! This is why I am writing this article; for me and for you. It’s ironic how life seems to just get in the way, but I make time to back up my iPhone. I don’t back up my laptop like I should, but that is about to change! How else would you know what information you have gathered, whether it’s in paper form or digital? There are several ways you can back up your genealogical data including but not limited to creating back up discs and saving your data to a flash drive. There are other options for you to take into consideration as well. Have you thought of other services that may help you accomplish this?

Other Options To Consider ~ Dropbox offers 2 GB of space and is a free service. You can upload photos, videos and documents and can easily share these with others. There is also an option for the paid plans as well, which offer up to 100 GB of storage space! That’s a lot of space for everything you may have accumulated over the years. You can access your files from their secure web site and the good news is that it works across multiple platforms such as Linux, Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, Android and even Blackberry! What if you don’t have a connection to the internet? No problem, because it works offline too. AWESOME 🙂 ~ IDrive offers 5 GB of free space under the free plan but if you refer friends you can gain an extra 5GB of space; if you need more you will have to pay the premium price. IDrive also offers its’ users the option of backing up information across multiple devices, you can sync folders between your PC and online account, manage multiple accounts, and even retrieve data from any location. ~ Windows Live SkyDrive offers 25 Gb of space! Woohoo! SkyDrive offers simplistic sharing of small and large files up to 2 GB. Try sharing a document of that size and sending it through an email account! Nope! It will never happen. Maybe one day in the future but right now, it’s not possible to send such a large file through email. With SkyDrive you can send a link through email and just click “share” if you are on a computer, or click “send a link” if you are on a device such as a tablet or a phone. What I like most about SkyDrive is the fact that you can share on Facebook, Twitter or even a blog. This is the cool part; you can embed an Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint presentation right onto your website!! ~ This program is dedicated to genealogists and some of the features are: fast, automatic backup of your family tree files and offers off site storage. Since “BackUpMyTree” backs up files automatically, it also monitors your files for any updated changes and saves them so you can just set it and forget it, as they say. What is great about this is that it supports the more popular family tree file formats such as GEDCOM, PAF, Legacy Family Tree, Family Tree Builder, RootsMagic (versions 4 and later), Ancestral Quest, Reunion for Mac and many more!

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