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Are You Ready for Your House to Burn Down? [rerun]

Hopefully it will never happen, but being prepared is a must.

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[This podcast was originally published June 9, 2005. -Leo]


This is Leo Notenboom with news, commentary and answers to some of the many
questions I get at

In a recent podcast entitled “Are you ready for your computer to be stolen
I discussed the needs for not only backing up, but encrypting your sensitive
data. Losing it is one thing, but having sensitive personal data in the hands
of thief is just as scary if not more so.

So by now you’re all backing up regularly and keeping those backups in a
safe place, right?

A safe place … in your house? In the same structure as your computer?

So what happens to all those backups and those computers should your house
burn to the ground? Or a flood damage everything? Or a mudslide bury it in

Backing up isn’t enough. You need to store copies of your backups off-site.
Somewhere physically different than your business or computer’s location. That
way if the worst happens you still have your data safely backed up.

Somewhere else.

It doesn’t have to be hard. Every so often, burn an extra backup CD and give
it to a friend or family member.

My wife operates a retail business where I also maintain the computer
equipment. So some time back I purchased two identical 250 gigabyte Maxtor
external USB/firewire drives
. The computers here at Ask Leo central (my home),
and at my wife’s business each have one. Each night data is backed up to those
drives. Then every so often I swap the drives. That way not only is my home
data backed up off-site at the store, but the store’s data is also backed up
off-site here at home.

Whatever your solution, I strongly recommend considering your disaster plan.
Especially if your business depends on it.

You’ll find links to the articles and resources I’ve mentioned in the
shownotes. Visit and enter 8604 in the go to article
number box on the home page. You can also comment on this podcast, or any of my
articles … I’d love to hear from you.

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2 comments on “Are You Ready for Your House to Burn Down? [rerun]”

  1. I use Acronis TrueImage to backup my computer, so if I need to restore the system I just reinstall the image.
    But if my house burnt down, my computer would go with it. And my new computer would not be compatible with the backed up image of the old computer.
    So at least once a month I make a backup to CD’s of the MyDocuments folder where I keep all my files and other stuff, and keep it at another location. That way on the new computer I can just copy the backup of the MyDocuments folder to the new computer. I will still need to reinstall some of the programs and such but nothing important is lost.

  2. I live in a wildfire area and have been evacuated twice. More frightening than computers or documents are family photographs. I have backed them up, keep discs in my safety deposit box and in my emergency kit. Keeping copies of them on a safe website is also great. Too bad Yahoo Photos is closing.


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