Lessons learned the hard way: BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP (and make sure your backup system works!)


4-Step Computer Security Upgrade

Learn to encrypt your files, secure your computer when using public Wi-Fi, enable two-factor authentication, and use good passwords.

Today I spent two hours drafting a complaint. Tonight, I was getting the complaint ready to go, so I copied my summons form into the complaint document and saved the file without thinking about it. As my finger clicked the mouse button, I realized I had selected “Save,” not “Save as.” Oh shit.

Yes, that’s two hours down the drain. I back up my files every morning to an external drive, but I drafted the complaint this afternoon. I also have an online backup service, Carbonite. Carbonite is great and all, but it also has a tendency to go into “Recover Mode” (i.e., it stops backing up) whenever I put my system in standby, which I did shortly after I finished drafting the complaint. So no backup.

So now I am stuck re-writing my complaint from scratch, and I am extremely angry with myself. Tonight I will probably send an angry note to the makers of Carbonite asking them to (1) give me an option to accelerate the upload, as it is almost too slow to be useful sometimes, and (2) more importantly, to fix the stupid glitch that makes it go into Recover Mode when I put my laptop on standby.

And then, tomorrow morning, I will set up my backups to happen automatically in the morning and in the evening, so that I always have two options. In the meantime, I will painstakingly attempt to reconstruct my complaint while cursing intermittently.


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