Technology is unreliable, fact. Whether it is a computer, a car or a space shuttle it can go wrong at a moments notice or even without any notice at all, no matter how well it has been maintained. The education of computer users can help greatly reduce the risk of data loss. Keeping backups of everything, making multiple saves of documents in progress to more than one location and implementing some form of version control are all very worthwhile practices and are good to get into a habit of.

As an example, when I’m writing I have a copy on my Mac’s hard drive and a copy in the cloud storage service Dropbox that is saved every few minutes automatically. There are also 20+ snapshots of each said document on the Mac’s hard drive which are taken by the software program Scrivener every few minutes automatically in case a word, page or the entire section of the document needs to be rolled back to an earlier version or simply to the differences between versions. Scrivener also takes a local backup every time the program is closed. Additionally, a copy is taken every hour by Apple’s TimeMachine backup service, which transmits a copy of the file to a WiFi connected 2TB hard drive. This drive stores the last 24 hours worth of hourly backups, then the last weeks worth of daily backups and finally the weekly backups for as long as it can before it runs out of storage space, which is about 1 years worth of data.

Is there still any danger that one of my documents or some of it’s content could ever be lost, damaged or irreversibly destroyed? Absolutely, but the chance of this happening has been decreased dramatically and the recovery time from such an unfortunate event is now much more likely to be have reduced to minutes rather than what could have been days or longer.