Please back up your personal computers, especially photos and things of sentimental value, whether you use a Windows-based or Mac system.
If you do not own one or a few, go out and purchase a USB hard drive or two or a stack of blank DVDs.
I have written a few times about the necessity of backing up your work systems and that has not changed.
But this morning I was saddened by a piece I heard on NPR where Mat Honan, a writer at technology magazine Wired was interviewed.
This is a link to his recent story about being hacked through a series of targeted and unusual, if not unique, well, hacks.
These included someone going after both his Apple iTunes and Gmail accounts in concert, tag-teaming a security gap in one to allow access through a hole in another. The holes that allowed this to happen have been plugged (one of them perhaps only temporarily).
I'm not writing about that attack itself, in fact I have been nauseated at the number of other “security” writers that have latched onto it today to write their own pieces.
Rather I am writing about what Mr. Honan referred to at the end of his interview on NPR this morning.
How thanks to the hack his Mac computer had been wiped and he had lost irreplaceable photos of his young daughter and of loved ones that had passed away.
I myself have multiple Apricorn and Weibetech drives I have used for years as well as a Memorex Mirror for Photos drive. The latter is specifically for photos (Mine is two years old but I see it and later models are available online).
I wrote about the Apricorn Aegis Padlock a couple years ago for work-related use.
It is overkill for just backing up photos but it is never a bad idea to be aware of what is available in the way of additional security.
That said, online backup is not without merit too, be it from Mozy, Cryptonite, Apple's iCloud (Mr. Honan might not be in favor of this last one — me either if I had gone through what he did) etc.