Monday, September 15, 2014

Back It Up! Go The Distance With Your Devices

Be a winner when it comes to backing up your files, not a loser!

When was the last time you got knocked down because you didn't back up something you needed?

School is on, work is picking up, fall is here, and Christmas is around the corner. Are you backing up your photos, docs and data? You should be. Just as you schedule to rake the leaves, do your laundry and pencil in time for some football games, you need to be backing up what's on your digital devices often.

Your Corner (wo)Man:

I tend to get a frantic phone call, text or email about once a week from a friend, colleague or student. I can't find ______. What do I do!? So, I have compiled the top 5 questions I've been asked about backing up personal and work items. No clinching.

Here they are blow by blow:

1. I want to back up files as I share them with others without clogging my email and their email.

I have mentioned these before but here are my favorite apps/programs for file sharing:

  • For simple file sharing: 
    • Dropbox is simple, user friendly and very common. Find out more here
    • iCloud is the obvious choice as well for Apple devices.
    • Google Drive for all types of devices
  • For extensive backup (family/home and/or business):
    • Crashplan is one of the highest rated online backup services. It has it all. See for yourself here.

2. I can't load anymore apps or take pictures because I have no more storage, what should I do?

  • First, go to "Settings" then look up what is eating up all your storage
  • Once you get to "Settings", tap "General" then "Usage"
  • From there, give it a minute or two while it aggregates all your storage info and will list which apps are using the most storage. Typically it's videos and pics.
  • For pics and video back up: You can back them up easily to you computer (Mac or PC) by following these directions.
  • I use Dropbox (as mentioned above) for automatic upload/backup of all my pictures and videos, then I arrange them into folders to share with others or print.

3.  Ah!! My iPad is disabled from trying too many passwords, how can I get it enabled again?

If you have entered the passcode incorrectly more than 6 times your device will become diabled. Don't worry, it's actually pretty common in this day of a million passwords, passcodes and usernames to remember.  Here is a step by step process, with images to get you back up again.

but then...

Ok, but I haven't synced it with my laptop, now what? Please don't say I have to go to the Apple Store and wait.

You need to get to "recovery mode": (follow these steps to a T, and be patient it can take up to 10 minutes or so)
  • Disconnect the USB cable from the device, but leave the other end of the cable connected to your computer's USB port.
  • Turn off the device: Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button for a few seconds until the red slider appears, then slide the slider. Wait for the device to shut down.
  • While pressing and holding the Home button, reconnect the USB cable to the device. The device should turn on.
  • Continue holding the Home button until you see the Connect to iTunes screen.
  • iTunes will alert you that it has detected a device in recovery mode. Click OK, and then restore the device.

4. So, my phone jumped out of my pocket and into a pool, toilet, puddle of, what now?
Well, here's the long and short of it. Quick dos and don'ts

  • DON'T:  microwave it or blow dry it. Heating it up this quickly is not going to save it. The high heat can damage the precious electronics inside. Don't worry about powering it off, just leave it.
  • DO: take it out of the water immediately (duh, but you would be surprised how many people freak out and leave it in there longer.) Take a deep breath, take out the battery (if you can). Then get it in a sealed container if you want to try rice or those desiccant packets (you can save from shoe boxes, etc). There are also other products you can purchase, if you want to be prepared ahead of time. 

5. How do I check what my kids have backed up? Messages? Texts, you know, just to make sure we are all on the same page.

You should be checking in on your kids. I mean that. Maybe I sound old fashioned but if you are paying for their phone, their data, if you are providing them with a roof and safe place to live, then you need to come up with some type of agreement and checking system. It doesn't always have to be a trust issue, it's caring and being a parent.  Developmentally (even though they will argue they are mature enough), they are not psychologically mature to deal with all this social media stress. Communication and finding natural ways to talk to them is best.

This clearly could be it's own separate post, so I will just give you two pieces of advice for now:

a. Talk to your kids, FREQUENTLY, about what they are posting and why. Many kids have multiple social media accounts, for obvious reasons, one they show their parents, one they do not.  Here is a great article to follow up and read. It's up to you on how you want to set expectations and how much you want to monitor what they do. Be proactive, not reactive.

b. There are social network protection programs out there, here is one to check out: Avira Social Network Protection.

And finally, somewhat unrelated but here you go.
BONUS ROUND.  I just backed up into someone else. What should I do?

Unfortunately, I have been there and done that. Get a back up vehicle camera and there's an app for that! Much cheaper than the factory models. Check out an example here.

Saved by the bell! Don't throw in the technology towel, stay active and current with your important docs, pics and data. Give it your best shot.

Here are some funny clips of Muhammad Ali's boxing days (you can watch this when you get frustrated with your digital device).

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