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Stop Making Excuses For Not Backing Up Your Computer

Stop Making Excuses For Not Backing Up Your Computer

Stop making excuses for not backing up your computer. The reasons may not be obvious as these things run and run don’t they? Well, unfortunately computer components fail. And if your hard drive happens to be one of the things to go wrong then all of your precious data might go with it. This article will do its very best to convince you to start backing up your computer today.

Expect Failure

You’ve got to expect failure when your precious files, photos and videos are stored on a computer hard drive. It may come as a shock when it does happen but the blow can be lessened by knowing that you have a recent copy of your data. Your computer’s hard drive might last for years and you should enjoy the good times, but when it does fail you need to be prepared.

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If you are reading this because you hard drive has started making funny clicking noises then do not delay. Make sure you get a full backup as quickly as possible – your drive is close to death and there may be data that you cannot access, but salvage what you can before it’s too late. Seriously.

Human Error

If you’ve been lucky enough not to experience hard drive failure you’ll probably know how it feels to accidentally delete something. It’s all too easy to delete important files either on purpose or by accident. It’s only afterwards that you realize that you’ve deleted something you need and recovery is at best difficult and at worst impossible.

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Theft

No one likes to think that he or she is going to fall foul of a laptop theft but it does happen. If you have a backup that runs when your laptop is at home then at least you have something to fall back on if this horrible thing happens to you.

Backing Up Your Computer Is Easy

Whether you have an OS X Mac or Windows PC, it is easy to set up a backup procedure which will make sure that your data is safe. As a bare minimum you should have an external hard drive set up to keep a regular copy of data stored on your computer (laptop or desktop). For less than $100 and around 30 minutes setup time you can have a first line of defense. Follow these guides to get yourself going:

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Mac OS X backup using Time Machine
Backup Windows machine using Windows Backup

Backup To The Cloud

There are a multitude of services that will back your computer up to the cloud. These services take copies of your files over the internet and store them on servers that are not in your home or business. Services such as Drive, OneDrive or Dropbox allow you to sync copies of files and store them in the cloud. These services are great for having a copy of your crucial files offsite in case your computer hard drive and external hard drive fail at the same time. The services all have free plans which can get you started, and when you hit the buffers you can upgrade and gain more space. Google has recently dropped their prices so you can now get 100GB of cloud storage for less than $2 per month. This is a very cheap and easy way of making sure that your files are safely stored offsite.

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Another cloud-based option that you should consider for backing up your computer is one where all of your files are backed up to the cloud. These can be set and forgotten about as they will upload when files are updated. Carbonite provides plans for individuals / small businesses and they do not limit how much data is backed up. If you have a lot of data it can take weeks to get the first full backup. It’s also worth considering whether you have a monthly cap on your broadband connection. Check the terms of your broadband connection before signing up for one of these services as you do not want your backup to take you over a limit.

Backups Are For Everyone – Including You

Backing up your computer truly is for everyone not just tech geeks. If you use a digital camera (or smartphone camera) and store these files on a computer, then your special moments captured may be at risk. This is not just me trying to worry you, this is an inevitable fact. Even if you don’t take digital photos, documents that you have created and edited on your computer are at risk. I cannot emphasize enough how crucial setting up your back up is. If you couldn’t stand losing your data then make sure that you have an onsite backup for all files and offsite storage for everything you couldn’t be without.

Featured photo credit: Jon Ross via flickr.com

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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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