5 Ways Writers Can Protect Against Data Loss

According to GDATA there were 1,017,208 new malware programs in the first half of 2010.  In that six month period there was as many viruses as in the first nine months of 2009.  Having just fought off a nasty virus that corrupted my Windows installation I can vouch that it is a danger that everyone should take measures to protect themselves against.  As I mentioned last week, writers are increasingly keeping no hard copy of their work.  In that situation, a major virus could wipe out months or even years of work. Here are some steps writers should take to safeguard their work.  This is not about virus protection as I am assuming, as should you, that no matter how hard you try you will encounter a virus or other system failure at some point.

Online Backups

There are a number of options available for online storage.  I use google docs because it is quick and reliable.  Having dragged and dropped your work on to google docs is a blessing in any data loss situation.

Multiple Drives

One thing that helped, over the last week, is that I have set my PC up with three drives.  This means Windows in is on one drive, applications on another and all my data on a third.  Thus when Windows corrupted I was able to format the Windows drive without fear that I had lost any data.

Drive Backup Software

I also use Acronis backup.  This is about saving time more than data.  Reinstalling Windows and getting everything up and running is a pain.  Acronis backs up your data and with a few clicks will restore your drive to the exact condition it was in.  I refuse to use Windows Restore as it is usually the first place viruses hide.  Having said that, you should also run a scan after restoring with Acronis as your virus may have been present when you made the backup.

Backup Bookmarks

Think of all that research you have done.  Much of it is stored via your internet bookmarks.  You can back these up by simply exporting the files to another drive but the easier and most effective way is using Chrome’s inbuilt sync.  This means as soon as you install and log in to Chrome it will sync all your bookmarks.

External Backup Media

This one is less reliable because it requires you to take more action every time you do any work.  However, backing up to a CD, USB drive or even a floppy disk if you have one, will save you from data loss.


All of these methods help a little but combining them will ensure you are protected in even the most extreme virus situations.  As for all you Apple users gloating, well thanks to viruses like Flashback you are not as safe as you think.

2 Responses to 5 Ways Writers Can Protect Against Data Loss

  • Hi Neill

    Well, for one who is far too casual about these things, even having had my hard disk crash beyond recall, some sound advice here which I will put in place. I hadn’t even thought about the bookmarks and as you say, a lot of effort goes into that kind of research. So thanks for the advice.


  • Hello Deborah
    I’m glad you found the post useful. Are you using Chrome? It is the easiest way to ensure you don’t lose your bookmarks.

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