Anyone who’s managed software projects knows that keeping backups is essential. A couple events this week reminded me how important up-to-date backups are, even for average computer users.
- A global cyberattack inflicted “ransomware” on millions of Windows computers, leading to loss of productivity and data. This is one of the largest and probably most costly computer viruses we’ve seen yet, and a good reminder to both keep your software up to date and keep a backup copy of your important files outside of your computer.
- I was making some routine updates to our development environment this week when I accidentally logged into the production server’s database. Next thing you know, I had completely deleted a couple tables worth of data. I was fortunate that (1) we have nightly backups and (2) it’s the end of our season, so not quite as busy at it was a month ago.
My standard advice for all computer users is to use a password manager, keep backups of any files that are important, keep your software up to date, and don’t download attachments in emails if you don’t know the recipient.
Do that and you’re ahead of most people who fall prey to hacking, viruses, or ransomware.