Celebrated crime author Ann Cleeves turned to Twitter this week, desperate for help.
The reason? The author, whose novels had been the inspiration for TV series like “Vera”, had lost her HP laptop during a blizzard in Shetland.
A laptop which contained the half-completed draft of award-winning Cleeves’s next book.
Cleeves offered a reward, told BBC Radio Scotland that the laptop was probably buried “under a foot of snow” in Lerwick.
My first thought was – that’s unfortunate, I hope she had a backup. And I also hoped that Anne Cleeves had secured her laptop with a password and full-disk encryption to ensure that anything sensitive wouldn’t fall into the wrong hands.
Too many people seem to find making backups of their laptops a chore.
I understand that it might be a pain to remember to plug in an external drive to copy your important documents and photographs onto, but there are services like Backblaze and Carbonite which can automatically backup your data to the internet.
And if you didn’t for some reason want to go to the expense of a backup-specific solution, you could always consider saving your valuable data into a folder that automatically gets synced with another device via the cloud – using a service like Dropbox or Google Drive.
Ann Cleeves, fortunately, did have a backup strategy of sorts – although one that relies upon the user remembering to take the precaution of making a copy of their data. She had emailed the book to herself as an attachment, a few days before the laptop was lost.
Whether you’re worried about your computer croaking, malware deleting your data, or simply accidentally deleting something you really should have kept, please make sure you have some kind of backup strategy in place.
It could save you a lot of time, tears, and heartache.
Oh, and Anne’s laptop? Someone found it a few days later… albeit slightly the worse for wear.
Here it is! Found in the snow not far from where I was staying by sharp-eyed Rachel as she got off the school bus. It’s been run over so not much use, but glad to know it’s safe. pic.twitter.com/OnFULNmfsG
— Ann Cleeves (@AnnCleeves) December 15, 2022