A year ago today, I hit the wrong “drop” button in PhpMyAdmin and completely deleted my blog. I couldn’t remember when I had last made a backup.
I’ll cut the long story of recovery short, but it took me nearly two months to get all my data back in place. I could have saved myself a lot of pain and worry and extra work if I had had an up-to-date backup of my blog.
I’ve always been sloppy with backups. Most people who are not IT professionals (and even them) are sometimes even sloppier still. We all know we should make backups more often, but we still live in the hope that
we will not die theft, hard drive failures, and dropped databases will not happen to us. Oh yes, we know we’re wrong, but we’ve been lucky so far, haven’t we? Now shoo away those guilty feelings and get on with your life.
Well, no. I decided to make the 24th of every month Backup Awareness Day. A day to
- blog about the importance of backups
- give practical tips to actually do them
- help people around you do backups
- tell horror stories of lost data
- do your own backups!
- put in place automated systems.
You get the idea. A day a month to think about backups, do something about them, and raise awareness in your communities.
Unfortunately, I guess I had too much going on at the time, and I didn’t really follow through (I tweeted a bit, and blogged about it in June, but honestly, these last six months haven’t been very backup-aware).
So, this year, let’s make Backup Awareness Day a real part of our lives. I need your help for that. On the 24th of each month, even if I forget (I’ll try not to, promise!), tweet about it, blog about it, do your backups, and encourage those around you to do so too. Online, and offline. Can I count you in?
I’ve just hit that “Export” button in WordPress, saved a dump of my MySQL database, and plugged in the external hard drive so that Time Machine could have a go at it. You too — do these things now if that’s how you back up your important data, or do whatever you do to make sure your words, photographs, videos, and precious files do not evaporate in the event of a disaster.
I’m now going to mark Backup Awareness Day in my calendar for the coming months. (Of course, next month, Backup Awareness Day coincides with Ada Lovelace Day, which I’ll be telling you more about
in a second .)