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Stop! Back up! Easy options for safeguarding your homeschool downloads, records, photos, and other documents

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So, how’s your peace of mind, these days?

How safe are all the data and materials you’ve collected on your computer?

I’ll be the first to admit that my overall plan to backup my critical data has been . . . haphazard, at best.

Until last week that is! I can honestly say that I am now pretty well protected from a computer meltdown, and the best part is —-I won’t even have to really think about it again. The backing-up part of my brain can take a permanent Caribbean vacation. (Too bad the rest of me isn’t quite so lucky!)

I realize that many of you may be far more diligent than I have been in protecting all the ebooks and curriculum materials that you have downloaded, the documents and records you have created, and the photos of your children and their homeschool studies that you have taken. You may habitually back up all relevant files on CD’s or USB drives, and then store the copies in another location, in case of house fire.

I, on the other hand, have made some backups at various points, but usually don’t know where they are. I think I stuck one CD in our safe deposit box, but I don’t remember exactly which information I put on it.

If you are like I was, here are a few ideas:

Mosey on over to Mozy!

The solution that I decided to go with is Mozy. If you have broadband internet access, this is probably one of the easiest ways you could go for backing up your personal files. You just download the Mozy backup software, tell it what folders on your computer you want backed up, and it does the rest. Mozy will automatically backup all your data in the background, whenever your computer is idle. The best part is: After the initial backup is complete, Mozy automatically checks the folders on your backup list and backs up any files that are new or have been changed! So once you set it up, you can just forget about it.

Mozy has a few different options, costwise. There is a free option!!! (Just click on the MozyHome Free option in the lower left column of the page that comes up from that link.) This gives you 2GB of storage space, at no charge. For unlimited storage space, you can pay just $4.95 a month.

A great advantage to Mozy is that it stores all your backups on their secure servers. This means that in the case of a house fire or natural disaster, your data will be safely off site. You won’t have to remember to store your backup CD’s in a bank or at a relative’s house. Plus you don’t have to remember to make the backups in the first place!

Other options:

If you don’t have broadband internet, or if you don’t want to use Mozy, you’ll probably want to use CD’s, a USB thumb drive, or an external hard drive.

The extra hard drive might be the most convenient, but it doesn’t help you in case of a house fire or a power surge, so keep that in mind.

Thumb drives or CD’s are good options, too, and they can be stored elsewhere. If you use Windows, click here for instructions on how to backup your data. Macs also have options for backing up, but I know little to nothing about them at this time! If you have suggestions or a link for backing up Macs, please feel free to leave them in the comments! (Mozy is compatible with Macs or PC’s)

Whatever you do, just do it!

I was motivated to get my backups in order because I kept reading on my email lists about people who lost all their curricula and data. They were then struggling to find all the free resources that they had lost, and had to contact all of the companies from which they had purchased materials, to try to get new copies of their downloads. Not to mention all the irreplaceable files and photos that they could never get back!

I decided a small amount of time and maybe even a few dollars a year would be WELL worthwhile.

With all the electronic materials homeschoolers have available to them these days, we can’t afford not to have a plan in place, just in case.

Enjoy the peace of mind!

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