I work in IT, and we're always preparing for outages and how to recover from disasters. We have a plan B or a work-around for lots of scenarios, so that our users can continue working if there is a disruption of service.
As a writer, your computer and other tools are part of your business, and your writings are valuable. You need a back up plan if something goes wrong. If you've ever lost a file or had a computer die on you, you know that sinking feeling. Here are some tips that can help.
- You need to backup your files regularly (on an external harddrive or to the cloud). Find the way that works best for you. Make sure that backups are part of your routine. Your work is too important to lose.
- Check with your website/blog provider to ensure that backups are part of your plan. It's a lot of work to recreate your site if something catastrophic happens.
- Keep up with emails from your website/blog provider and other software services. If your subscription runs out, your access is revoked. Make sure to keep copies of all of your receipts.
- Make sure that you have anti-virus software on your computer. There are a lot of services out there, and you need to find the one that works best for your. Attacks, viruses, and malware unfortunately are a part of daily life.
- If you signup for software services, often there is an auto-renewal feature. If you leave it on, make sure you know when it's time to renew and that you want to continue the service. If you turn it off, make sure that you renew at the proper time. See #3. Be aware that it could expire and you lose access.
- Keep all of your passwords in a safe place (not in a spreadsheet or Word document on your computer). I use KeePass. It's a password locker, and it's free. You just have to remember the one password to access the application.
- You may want to back up your contacts. You can export a list and save it outside of your email software. This list is hard to recreate if it's damaged or inaccessible.