I know, I know…the general concept is “think outside the box” but for the purposes of this column we are going to think “inside of the box” instead. We aren’t talking about creativity today but instead security of your work.
Many writers today rely on the digital world to keep their work secure. USB drives, the “Cloud”, Dropbox and even just plain old leaving it on your hard drive have taken the place of old fashioned paper. I have embraced digital storage to some degree. I have to admit, as much as I fought it, I do enjoy the fact that I can get to my files through Dropbox anytime I want. HOWEVER….(and you knew there would be a however…) digital storage shouldn’t be your end all.
While digital storage is convenient and is touted to be “safe”, there is a huge part of me that still doesn’t trust it completely. I admit I am a little anal when it comes to my work. I have a USB drive on my keys, I use Dropbox and I back everything up once a week, but I also take advantage of good old fashioned paper too. I run a copy of my manuscripts and I store them off site in a safe deposit box and here’s why…
- · These days computers go down - You read stories on a regular basis about how systems have been hacked and I think that we are just skimming the surface of what really goes on behind the scenes in the digital dimension. I am waiting for the day when a novelist comes forward and says that someone stole their work and the only place they could have done so was through “the cloud”. It’s gonna happen.
- · Natural disasters happen…all the time now – Let’s face it, the planet is changing and we now live in a world where you don’t know where the next natural disaster will strike. One look at photos on television of a tornado ravaged town and you realize that your home too could be here today and gone tomorrow.
- · Home break –ins – These are becoming more prevalent too and what’s the first thing they take? Your computer system and anything else remotely electronic are the first things to go.
These are just a few things that should make you at least consider off-site storage. Bank safe deposit boxes are cheap, ($75 a year) they are secure, (takes two keys) and they are in buildings that are built to withstand most of the crap Mother Nature can throw at us. I know that personally I feel better knowing that there is a hard copy somewhere just in case I get on the bad side of criminals, hackers and even Mother Nature. (And it happens….trust me)
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