Wednesday, November 19, 2008


No new photos today, no travel or sightseeing stories, no updates on Odel's treatment (except that today will be his 5th, and he is currently on the golf course) or my (lack of) progress on Weight Watchers. This post is all about slogging through computer and blog backups, so most of you can quit reading right here!

Semi-True Tales now includes 348 posts, covering almost 2 years of travel - plus links to our blog of campsite reviews, We Called It Home (currently 51 reviews), recipes and other blogs and websites. How would I feel if this was lost, hacked, hijacked or simply disappeared? Very distressed!

That happened recently to a blog I read from time to time, Millionaire Mommy Next Door. As the Millionaire Mommy said, “The unthinkable happened. My entire Google account was disabled. This means my blog, my email account, my calendar… the whole shebang… are gone. I have followed all of the available instructions, filled out all of the forms… and all I get back from Google is this automated message: “Thank you for your report. The account in question is disabled, and we can’t provide you with access to it.”

Unlike my hobby blog, Millionaire Mommy Next Door was a money-maker (some of which is used to fund microloans on Kiva) , and this was a huge blow to her. For me, it was a nudge to think about how to back up our blogs.

A few days later, my “low-priority” email account on Yahoo was hacked. The entire contact list was stolen, totally wiped clean, and the addresses were used to send what appeared to be a harmless but annoying spam message. This Yahoo account is the one I use for online ordering, newsletter descriptions, messages from online bulletin boards… the stuff I don’t worry much about if something goes awry. However, the fact that something DID go awry, along with the experience of the Millionaire Mommy, set me firmly on the path of improving computer security.

But how???

Next morning, I received the Geeks on Tour newsletter in my Yahoo mailbox. The Geeks are a couple of full-timing computer nerds who make their living teaching computer classes, creating and maintaining websites, and generally helping people like me improve our computer knowledge and skills. Naturally, much of their information requires a paid subscription, but each month, they feature a free video on a new topic. Their current free video is “Duplicating a Blogger Blog to WordPress” - EXACTLY what I needed.

So as not to invite disaster by ignoring all these “nudges”, I recently spent several hours making substantial changes to our computer security and backups, especially for our blogs. If you have been pondering any of these moves, you might be interested in what I did. Read on.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Laurie,
    Have you looked into Carbonite at Carbonite monitors your computer and every time you add or make a change on your computer Carbonite automatically detects the changes and updates and backs up your computer online. Its hassle free and worry free. I don't know if you know who Leo Laporte is- he is a techy geek and highly recommends it for hassle free & safe back ups. I have used it and really found very user friendly.