Backup: What’s Your Risk Management and Disaster Recovery Plan?

Backup! Backup! Backup!

When I was selling computer networks, that was our mantra. Without a good risk management and disaster recovery plan, you may as well fold up your business now.

Backup Because Disaster Happens

  • Hardware Failure
  • Theft
  • Fire and Flood

Every single person I know has lost at least:

  • their family photo albums
  • precious financial documents
  • precious memories and videos..

And did you also know (this is staggering), any company that loses their data for more than 10 days, 96% of them will file for banckruptcy within 6 months!!

Bad things happen to good people. Hard drives fail. Theft happens. When fire happens, your computer might survive the flames but will it survive the water? Be prepared. Make sure you have a good backup solution in place. Keep your data safe and secure where you can get to it when disaster happens.

Backup Options

  • Tape Drive
  • External Hard Drive
  • USB Key
  • Cloud

Tape DriveWhen I was in the computer solutions industry, the backup solution of choice was tape drives. I recommended an 11 tape rotation. One each for Monday thru Thursday (daily), 5 for five potential Fridays in a month (weekly) and 2 for alternate monthly backup. Expensive but in those days, the most comprehensive. We recommended the tapes be stored off site just in case of fire or theft.

Since then, the cost of storage has dropped dramatically. You can use an external drive bay for not much more than one tape used to cost. I would suggest setting up at least two drives to alternate on a daily basis so that you can take one home each day, if you can remember.

USB keyUSB keys are an option but are rather limited in how much you can backup and then you also have to remember to do it. Because of the size, they are easy to lose or have stolen.

And then, there is the cloud. There are multiple companies providing online backup. Let me tell you about a great solution!

GotBackup Cloud Backup

There are many great cloud backup solutions but let me tell you about Gotbackup.

Backup to the cloudIn 2011 only 7% of people used online backup, today 24% are and by 2016, 36% of consumers are expected to be using cloud storage and backup. 14% of home computer users will lose data in the next year due to no fault of their own. This is the very first true consumer product that every person needs who owns a mobile device like an iphone, ipad or android and/ or a home computer or laptop.

 

 

Backed up filesWith GotBackup you can:

  • Backup all your photos, music, emails, videos, documents & more!
  • Log in to view all of your files online from any web browser. Browse them just like you would on your PC.
  • Automatically backup your computer silently in the background to the cloud without you having to do anything.
  • Access your cloud on the GotBackup mobile site. We have apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Chrome OS and Windows 8.

GotBackup does not limit your transfer speeds or bandwidth. Their data centers have super fast connectivity. Your online files are encrypted with military grade encryption to keep them safe in our online cloud.

Are you interested in being paid to have a great backup solution?

>>CLICK HERE to learn more.

Keep your data safe and make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for? I’m thankful for my time in the computer services industry. I’m thankful for business opportunities. I’m thankful you took the time to read this far!

What are you thankful for today?

 

You would never intentionally infringe on copyright. Where do your graphics come from?

Copyright isn’t always clear. We all have honest intentions when we add pictures to our blog or social media posts. Here are some things you can do to minimize your risk.

Copyright

Image representing Canadian justice.

Source: https://goo.gl/Ptw1TD

Copyright isn’t always clear. How can you be sure you aren’t using someone else’s work legitimately? Be honest with yourself! Did you just grab a picture from a friend’s post and re-use it? There is nothing wrong with this if you have their permission and they have the right to give it to you. The problem is, they may not even remember where they got it from. When a photo was taken by your friend and shared, they have rights to that picture. Ask them where they got the graphic and if you can use it. If they aren’t sure of the source and if it’s legitimate to share, don’t do it!

Tineye

Is there a way to check copyright on pictures? Look at it with a tin eye! I know it sounds odd but Tineye is a great way to find out where a picture comes from. You upload a graphic image and Tineye searches it’s database to see if that image has appeared elsewhere. You can then check the links to see who produced and/or posted the image. Check the links for copyright references. For example, an image may have come from Pixabay and not even require attribution. Or, it may show up in Wikimedia with copyright information very evident. Just remember that tools like Tineye aren’t 100% and you are still liable if the picture wasn’t in that database. When in doubt, don’t. Your best option is to use pictures you create yourself. Carry a camera with you! When in doubt, don’t use an image you don’t know.

Make Your Own Images

One of your best options is to produce original graphics. There are companies out there just waiting to catch you using their graphics. That’s a profit centre for them.  When you use copyright material, make sure you acknowledge them according to their license. When you make use of your camera and a product like Canva or PowerPoint, you own the end product provided you were free to use the source files. Making your own graphics can be a lot of fun! Just make sure you use royalty free images. I created the image below using a graphic from Pixabay, the logo I created and a quote. If I can do it, anybody can! Do you have the stones to succeed?! Now, have some fun and do it safely! Make it a great day, Barry P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Tineye. I’m thankful for great graphic tools. I’m thankful for the time you took to read this! What are you thankful for today?

Collaborating With Google Docs

Collaborating with colleagues or students can be expensive and technologically challenging. Google makes collaboration affordable, accessible worldwide and cross platform.

Affordable and Accessible Collaboration

Collaboration with Google Docs is Free!

CollaborationNot only is collaborating with Google Docs free, it’s accessible in most of the world and works cross platform. Whether you are using an Apple, Windows or Linux computer, Google Docs will work for you as long as you are in a more recent version of most web browsers. I personally tested in Windows 7 using Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and FireFox. All of the browsers are free to download and use. I have used those browsers in Ubuntu as well but haven’t personally tested Google Docs in that environment. I admit an assumption that there wouldn’t be any issues collaborating with Ubuntu and iOS users.

Collaboration: Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Google tools are free and accessible to anyone with an up to date internet browser
  • Tools easily convert most Microsoft Office, rtf and Open Office (odt) files.
  • Changes can happen in real time.
  • Participants can make comments that become part of the file history.
  • Participants can communicate with each other in real time chat.
  • Documents can be stored in the Google drive and remain available.
  • Anyone with access to the document may be able to share with others via print; emailing a direct link to the file or downloading a copy and emailing.

Cons

  • Participants must have a Google account to make changes to documents.
  • File conversion occasionally requires fixing some formatting.
  • Anyone can make changes if given editor status.
  • Anyone with a Google account that was invited to participate will have access to the comments.
  • Real time chat may require moderation and could potentially require removing individual access.
  • There are limits to the Google drive storage space. (15GB)
  • Access rights may need to be modified once the collaboration is finished, to prevent changes to the document. This won’t limit what can be done with files that may already be downloaded.

Share Documents

Document Types

  • Word Processing
  • Slide Shows
  • Spread Sheets

Documents can be created from scratch and saved in multiple formats. ODT, XLSX, PPTX, DOCX can all be created or uploaded from existing documents. (Caveat: There may be a need to make minor formatting corrections after uploading. When importing video in Google Docs, it has to be from Youtube.)

New documents may be created from scratch with similar functionality to the Microsoft Office or Open Office programs. All documents can be shared at any point either by invitation, limiting access to specific individuals or they can be left wide open to the public. The document creator makes those choices.

Once a document is shared, multiple people can participate at the same time, in real time. Changes are tracked and visible. Participants can leave comments for response or can open a real time chat window where ideas can be shared but these chats are not saved unless manually copied into a new document.

movie projectorWhen you want to share a finished document with people outside of your group, you can email directly from the document and it will be converted to PDF and attached to a Gmail. Alternatively, you can save the document into an appropriate format. For example, a slide show can be saved as PPTX and then downloaded to your computer to send using another email system as an attachment. Alternatively, you can just make a copy of the Google Doc to share publicly and email a link to the people you want to see the finished product without them being able to download or modify.

Learning Curve

Learning curves are different for everyone. It’s easy to say it’s easy when you have experience with productivity software on a regular basis. I can only say it’s easier than most programs are to learn and it’s likely that someone in your group will be able to help figure out how to take advantage of Google Docs for collaboration.

If you have an open mind and are willing to learn, Google Docs may be the answer to your collaboration tool needs. There is no cost but your time and efforts to try.

Have fun!

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for technology. I’m thankful for open minds. I’m thankful for God given talents.

What are you thankful for today?

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Video to go: Making sure your show will run.

Video can be a little tricky sometimes. Have you ever had a MP4 file that was fine on your computer at home or in the office and wouldn’t run when you were out doing a presentation on another computer? Put VLC on a memory stick and take it with you.

My Video Won’t Run!

Can't open video filesSomeone sent me high resolution video clips from an event to review and they wouldn’t open. I had always thought MP4 video files were universal, they would open on any operating system. I had recently done some work converting WMV to MP4 and had no issues. I couldn’t understand what was wrong. When I called the producer, they asked if I could open VLC video files. Apparently not.

Don’t make the assumption that your video files will run on another computer.

Solution

After a little internet research, I discovered the portable VLC media player. You can install this media player on a USB stick and run it on most operating systems without further installation.

movie projectorWhen you are creating video and sharing it with others, having the player included can ensure that you aren’t embarrassed when someone tries to run your video. Instruct them to open the VLC player from the stick and then use the program to open your media file.

This solution will work for sound media as well as video. I usually keep a USB stick in my pocket. I think I’ll keep a copy of the VLC player on that stick in case of emergency!

I hope you find this useful and please share this with anyone you know that is likely to be creating and sharing video or audio files!

Make it a great day,

Barry

P.S. What am I thankful for today? I’m thankful for Google! I’m thankful for technology. I’m thankful God gave us the ability to think for ourselves.

What are you thankful for today?