You may or may not have heard about producer Ryan Leslie‘s most recent controversy involving a stolen laptop and personal belongings along with a considerable sum of cash. The details of the incident aren’t important, but immediately after the theft Ryan offered a $20,000 reward for safe the return of the laptop. Today the reward was raised to $1,000,000 USD.
Ordinarily Crate Kings would not mention the incident and I truly hope that he’s able to reacquire his personal physical and digital property, however, there are great lessons that others can learn to hopefully avoid such a disastrous situation. To put it simply… Backup and Encryption are a must.
1. Data Backup
Hard drives fail and data losses occur. The last thing you want is to lose years and potentially hundreds or thousands of hours of work just because you didn’t feel like investing a tiny amount of time to backup your valuable files.
Online Backup Solutions – If you don’t mind storing your files offsite, then products such as Mozy offer the ability to backup your files through the net. They even offer up to 2 GB of free storage for personal users. A personal favorite of mine that I use everyday is Dropbox, which offers the ability to backup and sync folders across multiple computers and devices. Like Mozy, Dropbox offers users 2 GB of free storage.
On-site Backup Solutions – When I was hardcore Windows user Acronis True Image effectively performed its duties with minimal configuration. It’s not free, but the reasonable price tag was great insurance against catastrophic data loss. Apple incorporates Time Machine straight out of the box in Mac OS X. Use it. This alone has saved me when I’ve accidentally deleted something that I shouldn’t have. Another great Mac solution is Superduper, which creates a fully bootable backup of your hard drive and can come in handy during an emergency.
2. Data Encryption:
Backup is great when your hard drive crashes, but if you don’t want others to be able to view your files, then you’ll need file encryption. And no, having a login password will not prevent anyone from logging into your computer. Login passwords can usually be bypassed with relative ease, this is especially true with Macs.
TrueCrypt works on Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Best of all it’s free. In fact, TrueCrypt has been so successful in doing its job that the FBI was recently unable to crack its encrypting of a Brazilian banker’s hard drive Knox is another quality Mac based encryption solution, which is made by the makers of 1Password, another highly recommended solution that I personally use.
This is by no means an exhaustive list or coverage, but it should be enough to keep most people covered and protected throughout the worst of times. Please feel free to leave a comment naming your favorite backup and encryption solutions.