the importance of backing up your files

Last week while I was typing up an email, suddenly an FBI warning took over my entire screen. My webcam turned on to show my own face (!) with a note under it that said something along the lines of “The FBI is watching you. You have engaged in illegal activites on this computer and therefore are subject to $100,000 fine”.

I freaked out! Immediately, I knew it was a virus, so I quickly held my finger on the power button until my laptop shut off. My antivirus software had only expired one day before.

A few weeks ago, Bob told me about a virus that was going around posing as the FBI and threatening to delete all of your files, unless you surrendered a ransom. Who knows what personal information this virus could have access to? I changed all of the usernames and passwords for my accounts via Bob’s desktop just to be safe.

But then something else hit me. All of my important files were in my computer and I hadn’t been backing them up. My photos, videos, documents – the thought of losing everything made me sick. I had become so complacent with my anti-virus software that I thought, nothing’s going to happen. Norton’s got my back. Later, I would find out that the virus had been on my computer for weeks and Norton was only keeping it at bay until my subscription ran out.

Thankfully, I was able to reboot my computer on safe mode and backed up all of my files to Bob’s external hard drive that way. He installed a new version of Windows, thus ridding of my old Windows completely and the virus along with it.

I learned my lesson this time. It’s probably something I should have learned years ago because this isn’t my first time dealing with a virus (the last virus managed to wipe out many of my personal files). I even wrote a post a while back on backing up my blogging database, which unfortunately, I haven’t done in quite a while! I know that I absolutely, without a question or a doubt, NEED to back up my files regularly. The scare of losing it all or worse, someone else having access to it, scared the daylights out of me. That same day, I ordered an external hard drive, solely for keeping copies of EVERYTHING on it.

If you have anything of value or importance on your computer, then I implore you to please back up all of it.  With all the options out there, like cloud storage, backup software and flash drives, it’s easy and accessible to even the most technologically-challenged person.

*Need help figuring out what back-up option is best for you? Here are a few articles I found helpful:
The Beginner’s Guide to PC Backup
How to Back Up Your Computer – A Beginner’s Guide
How to Make a Solid Mac Backup Plan (even Mac users are not immune from viruses!)

9 responses to “the importance of backing up your files”

  1. I think I probably would have jumped out the window if my webcam had switched on by itself! How terrifying! I got a reminder this morning about our anti-virus expiring soon (which I promptly ignored)! I have just this second emailed the technical guru aka the husband to have him sort it out! Thanks for the heads-up!

  2. oh my goodness how scary!!!! thank you for the warning!

  3. Sandra says:

    Oh, I know this so well. I mean, not really the FBI-thing…that would’ve freaked me out…but the not-backing up my files. When my old laptop died a couple of years ago I had nothing saved on an external hard drive (like I do today). All my pictures and MP3’s and letters and whatnot had gone…they weren’t able to get the data back. It was (and still is) so sad!

  4. Yelle says:

    I am definitely saving this post! I backup maybe twice a year… and I should totally do it more often especially with the amount of images and documents I have. I would have never thought to backup via safe mode if this happens… so I am saving this to reference if and when it does happen to me. Thank you for shining light on this!

  5. Lena says:

    Nothing like a near disaster (thank goodness it wasn’t a real one!) to get you serious about backing up! I could kiss my external drive!

  6. Kim says:

    oh my goodness jillian! that’s horrible! everyone should read this post, because it is so important! my computer gone through lightning strikes and just plain died. so those are even MORE reasons to back files up. thanks for sharing!

  7. I totally bought my second hard drive right after reading this! Ha! The first one I bought is almost full of pictures already…so I bought a 3TB one on sale on Amazon. Hopefully that’ll last me a while!

  8. rooth says:

    Oh man this is a really good reminder. On my to do list immediately!

  9. It’s enormous that you are getting ideas from this article as
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