I was reading a story about someone who lost everything they had in a house fire, and she was giving advice to everyone on something we can all do to prevent some of the loss….

We all know we are supposed to backup our computers every now and then.

You know- in case your hard-drive crashes.

And you should backup your digital photographs as well.

Sure, it’s easy and convenient to have a portable external hard-drive for those back-ups, but if there’s a fire in your house- uh, you’ll be losing that back-up.  So either store it off-site (like at someone else’s house!) or sign up for an online backup service.

We use Mozy.com.  It’s actually pretty convenient because it’s automatic.  And another benefit- if you get a new computer, you can just load everything onto your new computer from Mozy, instead of copying stuff onto thumb drives or plugging in a portable drive to copy and paste and all that fun stuff.  Super easy.

Photographs.  I’ve actually scanned in a lot of my childhood photographs, and heritage photographs of my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, etc.  Since they are in digital format, they are being backed up to Mozy as well.

My scrapbooks- well if there was a fire those would be gone.  I suppose I could photograph/scan each page and have a digital file of those as well, but frankly it’s the photographs themselves that are most important, not the put together pages.

But here’s taking “loss” a step further:

It’s a good idea to have photographs of all your posessions for insurance purposes. Each time you buy a new appliance, or TV, or game system, or furniture, etc….take a picture of it.  Actually, even just taking a picture of each room- each wall in each room, opening your drawers and photographing the contents.  And what do you do with those photographs?  You have them stored off-site….either as a backup (like Mozy) or upload them to Picasa or Flikr or some other photo hosting website.

And my other tip….

If your wallet or purse was stolen, would you know what credit cards were in there?  And what numbers to call?  And what numbers are on your cards?  I learned this tip many many years ago- take everything out of your wallet and photograph/scan it…both sides.  That way if something happens, you know exactly what was in there- and you have all the card numbers!  Obviously you want to keep that in a safe place because it could be stolen and misused!

So there- the power of the internet.  Use it.