Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Off to Vienna! + Backup Security

Hi all,

I am getting ready to leave for Vienna, Austria, to attend the ProZ Regional Conference there this weekend. Next week I am meeting a few business contacts and will also visit my family. I'll return to the U.S. December 8.

The conference sounds interesting -- not surprisingly, I seem to be the only U.S.-based translator who signed up for it. Frankly, I probably wouldn't have signed up, either, if I didn't have family in Vienna. A number of people from various European countries (not just German-speaking) are attending, though, so that should be fun. Plus conference attendees were apparently invited to a fancy "Heurigen", a Viennese-style wine bar cum restaurant, by the mayor of Vienna.

I spent part of today backing up information & transferring files to my laptop, so I'll not only have everything I could possibly need with me, but the information will also be stored on CDs and on an external hard drive. I am rather over-conscious when it comes to backing up digital information -- particularly business- or client-related items. Every night, each project I am working on is copied to a CD for that client (which is stored in the client's folder, along with print-outs of work orders & e-mails with instructions from that client). When a project is completed, it is again backed up to CD. Once a week, both my desktop and laptop automatically back up to an external hard drive attached to my home network. Similarly, accounting information (kept in QuickBooks Pro) is backed up regularly on CDs (one for the business, one for home/family accounts), and contact information and e-mails (kept in Outlook with Business Contact Manager) are included in the weekly backup to an external hard drive.

I am considering adding a layer of online backup every other week or so, in case something *really* bad happens to my house. The question is, how secure is such a backup (especially when it comes to client and/or financial information)? Anything on the internet can be hacked, including "secure" online storage. Houses can be broken into, as well, but at least I'd notice if someone broke into my home office and made off with my files (not sure why anyone would do so or what they would do with the files, but ...). If someone hacked my online backup space, I wouldn't necessarily know that the data had been compromised. On the other hand, online storage seems the only viable option for securing data if my home office is physically destroyed or severely damaged (e.g., a fire -- it's on the third floor, so flooding is unlikely to be a problem).

Do you have any experience using online backup solutions? If so, I'd love to hear from you.

Until next time,


PS (April 2010): I have since set up online backup. Read about my entire backup/disaster preparedness system.

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