From author Russell Philips via The Alliance for Independent Authors:
At its simplest, a backup is just a spare copy of any important files, like your manuscripts. Ideally, a backup will have the following properties:
- It’ll be located in a different physical location. A backup won’t save your work from a fire or burglars if it’s next to your computer.
- Backups will happen automatically. If you have to remember to do it, you might forget, or decide that something else is more important.
- It’ll keep older versions as well as the most recent one. This enables you to reverse changes if you need to.
- It will retain deleted files. If you delete a file by accident, you can get it back from the backup.
- If your files are stored by a third party, they should be encrypted. This keeps your private files private.
. . . .
Your web and mailing list hosts probably have backup procedures in place, but it’s still sensible to keep your own backups. If your web or mailing list host decides to terminate your account because you’ve contravened your terms of service (whether you did or not), a backup will allow you to switch to a new provider.
. . . .
MailChimp and Aweber both have reasonably straightforward instructions for exporting data. You can also export your data from Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Unfortunately, Facebook’s export doesn’t include data from pages. For email, you’ll have to check your email provider’s help pages to find out how to export your messages. There isn’t a simple way to automate any of these, so I suggest you set up a repeating reminder in a calendar program. If you really want an automatic option, it may be possible to set up a recipe on If This Then That to (for instance) append Tweets to a file in Dropbox.
Link to the rest at The Alliance for Independent Authors
Here’s a link to Russell Philips’ books. If you like an author’s post, you can show your appreciation by checking out their books.
PG has used computers for centuries and will guarantee that computers and floppy disks (remember those?) and CD’s and hard drives and solid state drives and backup software and backup services can and do fail.
If you use computers for a long time, one or more of them will also fail (or you’ll do something stupid to zap a file or a folder or a drive).
PG uses some of the suggested techniques/services in the OP and some that are not mentioned.
The single most important thing about backups is simply to make them. Regularly (as in on a schedule). Most of PG’s backup programs run automatically, but he also has some scheduled manual backups just to make certain. He uses some commercial offsite backup services and some nearby physical backups.