Information Technology Reference
Plan a Backup Strategy
In keeping with the Take Control spirit, this topic focuses on the
strategy, hardware, and software I can most heartily recommend
based on extensive personal and professional experience. I'm going
to give you my expert advice, and although that will include areas in
which you can choose among several options, I'm framing the decision
simply. I'll be telling you, “Today's choices are lasagna, fried rice, and
ratatouille (and by the way, my lasagna is pretty darn good)” instead
of saying, “Choose anything from The Joy of Cooking.”
If you follow my suggestions, you can rest easy knowing that your
data is safe—and you won't spend a fortune or spend days fiddling
with setup. And if you opt out of any of the three main components
of my basic backup strategy, you'll do so with both eyes open.
Understand Joe's Basic Backup Strategy
Basically, the strategy I want you to follow consists of three key parts:
Versioned backups: Use Time Machine or another backup
program to store versioned backups —copies of each file as it
existed at many points in time. Update your versioned backups
incrementally (copying only new or changed data each time) at
least daily, and preferably more often.
Bootable duplicate: Create a bootable duplicate of your startup
volume on an external drive, and update that duplicate regularly.
Offsite copies: Keep at least one backup copy of your important
data somewhere safely away from your computer—in another
building, at least, and perhaps even in another part of the world.
Tip: Later in this chapter, I've included a sidebar about how cloud-
based file syncing services can supplement your backup strategy by
giving you a quick way to get back to work after a major computer
problem. See Cloud Sync and File Restoration .