Backup now, backup often – Tech Tuesday

This week’s Tech Tuesday post comes courtesy of the nasty little hacker who hacked into one of my websites and wiped it clean, leaving me with nothing but a bright sparkling new (blank) installation of wordpress.

backupThe rapid expansion of what has become known as the web 2.0 has brought with it many new technological challenges for people who never expected to have any web presence of their own. Whether it’s something relatively simple like working out how to upload a photo to their facebook account or something a little more complex like linking their twitter and facebook accounts, people are being forced to become more tech savvy by the day.

This new era of laymen using technology that would previously have only been understandable and available to the most proficient of tech guru’s has brought with it a new problem:

People simply don’t understand enough about what they are using to be able to understand all of the risks.

The list of risks is too long to go into here but for today I would like to focus on two things that I ALWAYS advise anyone who asks about what they do online:

  1. Don’t use the same password on multiple websites
  2. Backup now and backup often!

The first is simple. I know it can be hard coming up with different passwords and then remember them all but the best advice I ever heard was this: Come up with a system and use it for every password you create.

A simple password system might be to use the same basic word every time but then add to it the first three digits of the website name.

For example, you might always use the word BACON as your password. So, if you had to create a password on the Yahoo website, your password might be BACONYAH (bacon + the first three letters of Yahoo) on the Microsoft website it would be BACONMIC (bacon + the first three letters of Microsoft) etc. etc.

Using different passwords greatly reduces your risk of being a victim of fraud. If you use the same password every time, a fraudster only has to learn your password once and they have access to everywhere you go online.

Once you’ve got your password security sorted, the other REALLY important thing to do is back up any websites and blogs you may have.

Exactly how to back up your site or blog depends entirely on how the site is created and where it is on the Internet but there are plenty of people who you can ask for help (me included) who will gladly advise you on how to back your site up. It’s really quite easy, even blogger has a built in system for backing up your blog posts and comments.

Most people don’t think about backing their websites up, even I’m guilty of not doing so. I had no backup at all of the site that got hijacked and it was only because Google still had by pages cached that I could rebuild it.

I won’t be making THAT mistake again… and you shouldn’t either.

Don’t delay, backup now and backup often. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did if ever anything goes wrong!