No, seriously. Why are you reading this. Unless you already have a proper sorted backup (and recovery) system set up.

Obviously everyone has heard the story of the journalist who lost all his online accounts due to some re-use of usernames, a little dab of social engineering, and the use of things like back to my mac. Bad luck, but the one thing that stood out to me was the bit about him potentially losing photos of his child.

Seriously, go sort your backups out now.

Anyway, I don't even have kids, and I'm ridiculously paranoid about backing my shitty photos up. I have a couple of USB HDDs which I plug into my laptop every now and then, and CarbonCopyCloner clones my SSD to an appropriately sized partition. I rsync my important directories to a NAS and a server, both sitting on top of RAID arrays. The NAS has a USB HDD plugged into it to mirror the things stored on the NAS, and I also have crashplan installed, which backs up my entire SSD to a local server, and to crashplan's servers too.

Over the top much? Probably. Does it allow me to be a little complacent about the loss/catastrophic failure of my laptop? Yes, yes it does. I'll just have to get a new one, and sync the appropriate folders back, and I'll be up and going again. Hell, I can even boot from one of the USB HDDs if I ever really need to get up and running again in a hurry (I won't).

I'm far from perfect though. I've realised that I need to sort out my online accounts in terms of backups and security. I signed up for lastpass, and am slowly working my way through the "duplicate passwords" report, and sorting out unique passwords for everywhere - even the throwaway unimportant things I signed up for with the intention of only ever using once. You never know where someone might get into, and what tiny little piece of information they uncover which will get them one step closer to your more important accounts.

The most important thing, of course, is making sure your backups work, and that you can restore from them. In fact, we should stop calling them backups and start calling them restores, so that the emphasis is on the thing that people need to concentrate on. Restoring and recovering your data when things go wrong. Actually, I could do with making sure my email backup is working and up to dat. I did break my gmail imap access at one point from syncing it too many times per day, but it should still be syncing every three hours, using imapsync to copy it to a local server, running a copy of roundcube webmail, so I can get to it if gmail ever goes down. Time to click off over there to check it's still running...