Moving Day Is Coming! Have You Backed Up Your Tech?
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You've bought new home and there are a million things swirling in your mind to prepare as the closing day countdown ticks away. The normal hassles of changing your mailing address, canceling utilities and setting them up at the new place, enrolling kids at a new school, figuring out your commute to work- the list goes on and on.
One of the things that many dread the most, is the actual packing process. Some people start weeks in advance and meticulously wrap and label their valuables. Others use their move as an opportunity to purge items that have been stored in basements or attics for years. No sense in bringing clutter from home to home if you don't need to!
There's the normal concern of bigger and more breakable items, such as electronics, valuable artwork and Aunt Mable's antique china. The inevitable last minute items are low on the packing priority totem pole- things that you need day to day, such as clothing, toiletries and food.
This list looks pretty common so far and probably matches what the average household faces when moving from one location to another. But, there are a few very common things not accounted for yet- things we might not even think about as they've become second nature to most of us. Most likely the things that we look at right before bedtime and shortly after waking up. Our technology.
That Scary Moment
If you've ever updated your smartphone, you've probably had a few moments of doubt when syncing devices and clearing the old one off to sell or keep as a back-up for the kids. Either way, most people store a treasure-trove of personal, valuable and irreplaceable data on their phones, tablets and desktops.
As wonderful as cloud based storage is, there's a long, breath-holding pause as you check "yes" to the pulse-pounding question, "Permanently delete items from this device?" With rigid confidence we say "yes" and hope to heck we haven't inadvertently deleted hundreds or thousands of photos and videos.
And that's just for handheld devices! Have you given thought to what the ramifications would be if you were to lose valuable data from your other digital technology?
Most of us trust that we can securely and easily back up our computers and mobile devices by syncing them with an online or cloud based technology. In doing so, we can instantly access a massive archive of our most important information, from confidential financial data, private medical information, family photos and videos and everything in between. We take for granted this "at our fingertips" convenience of being able to readily source our data, even if something happens to the device or devices we might normally rely on.
There might be a bit of a risky gray area, however. If your devices aren't set up to perform regular back-ups to a secondary storage device, your information could permanently disappear.
Well in advance of moving day, make time to transfer backup copies of everything to your preferred service. While it's not a bad idea to use physical storage such as freestanding hard drives or thumb drives, these are not going to be as secure as a web-based provider.
There have been too many tales of damaged or lost computers and drives, broken tablets and other breakable devices or cameras that disappear during a move. Why even tempt fate on what is said to be one of the most stressful things in life- MOVING DAY! By taking a few hours to back your files up properly, you could save valuable time, frustration and possibly some tears if something goes sideways with your electronics.
Will They Even Move It?
It's not unusual for professional moving companies to enlist a policy of "non-allowable" items in their terms and conditions.. These lists include more obvious things like hazardous materials, produce, plants, propane tanks, etc. But many companies have expanded their policy to now include cell phones, tablets, laptops and desktops. At the very least, most moving companies will list these items on their websites under "Items you should move yourself".
If you do decide to risk packing some of these in boxes and handing them over to the moving company, make sure you've arranged adequate insurance with the moving company in the event of loss or damage. There are after market boxes available for purchase, specifically for these items, in case you've long since tossed the original packaging. These specialty boxes will have all of the appropriate shock absorbing styrofoam and other materials to help litigate any potential damage from bumps, bangs or drops.
Make sure your computer is completely cooled before packing it, otherwise, plastic bubble wrap could have a melting party in your hardware as it sits in the moving box. If you're not familiar with the set up of a computer, including cords, take a picture of it for future reference and tape a label on each cord with its description. That way hooking everything back up will be a breeze instead of a frustrating puzzle. Pack computers right side up and mark the box as such. Not a good idea to turn a computer upside down. Lastly, take your back up devices (external hard drive, thumb drives, CD's, whatever method you've chosen), WITH YOU in your personal vehicle on moving day.
Happy packing and remember, back-up, back-up, back-up!