I accidentally deleted my Mac photo library two weeks ago.
All the photos from my recent vacation to Orlando, gone.
The photos from Las Vegas, gone.
The photos from Austin, gone too.
Every single one just evaporated into digital space.
It was a silly mistake too.
I was cleaning out the Pictures folder on my Mac and thought I had de-selected my iPhoto Library file. I didn’t realise I had selected everything, dragged it to the trash and emptied it.
The worst part: I didn’t know my photo library was deleted until days later when I launched iPhoto and was greeted with a welcome message. I thought I could get everything back, but I took my computer in to a data recovery specialist who told me everything was gone for good.
Instead of getting upset, I want to help make sure that the same thing doesn’t happen to you.
Here are a few quick tips to make sure you never lose an important digital file:
THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Always back up.
If you have a Mac, this is easily done through the built-in Time Machine app and an external hard drive.
I suggest backing up once a week. When you get home, just plug an external hard drive into your computer and let Time Machine do its work. Backing up overnight is ideal.
If you have a PC, Windows has backup software included with the system. Just go to the Start Menu, type “backup” in the search box, and hit “Backup and Restore.”
Use Dropbox or Google Drive.
Steve Kovach, Business Insider
Sign up for Dropbox if you haven’t already. Also, start using Google Drive. Dropbox gives you 2GB of free storage. I suggest you purchase additional storage from Dropbox if you want to back up more than just select files and photos. Google also just beefed up its free storage to 15GB.
Use a service that backs up your entire computer online.
If you don’t want to back up to a physical hard drive there are services like Carbonite or SugarSync that back up your entire computer to the cloud. Whatever method you choose, always back up. Always.
Set your photos to automatically back up.
Automatically back up your photos. Dropbox and Google+ both have built-in automatic photo upload for the desktop and mobile. This will make sure that your photos are always in another place besides on your device. I rejected the option and am now kicking myself for not doing automatic photo uploads. This would have saved me.
Use Google Drive for office documents instead of Microsoft Office.
Ditch Microsoft Office and start using Google Drive. Google Drive is both Google’s storage service and its Google’s version of Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. They’re free, have the same features (for the most part), and automatically save your files in the cloud every few seconds. If a disaster happens you’ll always be able to edit and view your files from any computer. Box is another document alternative that syncs with Google Drive.
Sync your desktop folders to Dropbox or Google Drive.
Sync your most important folders to Dropbox or Google Drive. Just download the respective app on your computer and pick and choose entire folders you can’t be without.
Use the note-taking app Evernote to take notes. Evernote stores notes, PDFs, entire Web pages, recipes, receipts, and even voice notes to the cloud. Evernote can be accessed from your smartphone, tablet, and computer.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.