Consumer Technology girl working on computer

Published on January 12th, 2012 | by Zachary Shahan


7 Ways to Protect Your Computer Equipment & Files

January 12th, 2012 by  


girl working on computer

As a professional blogger, I’ve lost a handful of articles due to technical failures and not backing up my work. I imagine, whether you’re a blogger or not, this may have happened to you as well. Frustrating, to say the least, right? With increasingly strong natural disasters due to climate change andtechnical failures it’s important that we back up our work in order to remain as efficient as possible — efficiency isn’t only about the technology we use.

With my computerbeing central to my work, I have picked up a few tricks for protecting and backing up my equipment and files. Here are 7 of them:

  1. Starting with the most obvious, save important work on an external hard drive, CD, or DVD.
  2. I’m not the best at keeping up with that first step, but a similar option that’s a little quicker is saving your work on email. I use Gmail, which I consider to be pretty secure and stable. I sometimes email myself something or just put it in a draft email (love that gmail saves every few seconds) to make sure I don’t lose something important. ( You can also save files this way by attaching them to the email.)
  3. Similarly, you can use that approach with other online services – dropbox, facebook, Google+, scribd, etc.
  4. Of course, you also need to make sure you have good computer security software. I bought a new computer this year (luckily, right before our old computer died) and checked in with the tech wizards at reddit to see what the best option was. Without a doubt, the #1 recommendation was Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE).
  5. In addition to MSE, however, it was recommended that I use other scanning tools as well (i.e. Spybot, Malwarebytes, SuperAntiSpyware).
  6. Beyond the software, protect the hardware! Sleek, savvy, and sophisticated power protection from Eaton’s new 3S battery backup is a top option. It’s an ideal solution for home office/small office computers and accessories, networking and VoIP systems, and home entertainment devices. Learn more at: Eaton 3S UPS. Note that its EcoControl “provides up to 30 percent greater energy savings than typical battery backups” – something we’re obviously all about here on CleanTechnica.
  7. Don’t leave your computer unattended near thieves. OK, yes, this one’s a bit of a joke. However, do use common sense when out in public – leaving your stuff even slightly unattended can result in a nightmare of a situation.

Full disclosure: CleanTechnica received compensation and a demo product for writing this post. Nonetheless, all views are the author’s own and this post has genuinely been written to help you out.

Girl working on computer via shutterstock

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.

  • Star

    hey qt

  • btw, thanks for the note on the threading — i basically moderate everything through email, so don’t notice that. it’s updated now.

  • thanks for your opinions and advice. you obviously have a lot of computer experience.

    yep, this article was a little outside the bounds of our normal pieces, but i wouldn’t have taken the offer if i didn’t think it had something to offer some of our readers. branching out a little bit from time to time, i think, can be useful for those focused on one niche.

    i try to make a point of replying to any comment that warrants reply. this one did. call it defensive if you like, but i was just adding more perspective and context.

    google offers great services. i’m happy to use them and, like in the case of potentially useful advertorials, have no problem with them making money off of me. facebook isn’t my favorite place on the web… but those for whom it is, i won’t criticize them for giving all their information to the company. and i certainly give my fair share willingly for the services they offer.

    yep, this post wasn’t targeting computer experts — i don’t have the computer expertise to write such a post for such people. but i still think it includes points that could be useful to a large number of people, and wouldn’t have written it if i didn’t think so. and, writing such a piece for the first time, i wanted to cover the basics — a lot of people
    actually don’t get them. i’m sure you’re aware of that.


  • Anonymous

    And I used to go back and shorten variable names from three to two characters in order to gain enough space to make programs work way back when a 30 meg hard drive cost thousands of dollars..

    That does not give me an excuse to be a pompous ass….

  • Omharisai

    It has been my experience that the earlier versions of Windows had been more stable than W-7. In fact Mac is the best so far. I have lost a lot of data due to the instability of the OS. I remember my instructor telling me to save after typing every three lines in the old DOS format (Word Star). The problem here in India is that the Internet service is still in the Dinosaurian 2G stage. So trying to save data as e-mails , is a rather painful exercise. Though the servers claim they have 3G networks, none of them actually work in principle. So I have invested in an external HD to save my work. I used to save my files onto CD/DVDs till I found they too are quirky,mostly refusing to open on newer Operating systems. So I hope I can use the new Cloud Computing networks, whenever these blokes start genuine 4G services here.

  • Guest

    “CleanTechnica received compensation and a demo product for writing this post.
    that was blatantly obvious, and the tips here, in a genuine effort to help people, ( rolls eyes ) could only ever be of use to people who are so stupid in the first place, they dont even deserve to live.

    • Anonymous

      Boy, your mommy sure failed..,.

      • Meh

        Well then mommys boy, what did you learn from the article?

        • Meh

          *article. was being kind, strictly speaking, should’ve said ADVERTISEMENT

          • It was an article. If you want to get irritated that people can supply useful articles that also help to pay writers slightly better wages, go ahead. That’s up to you.

            I don’t write sponsored posts if I don’t think they’re useful to our readers.

            Out of curiosity, do you have ad block on? Have you benefited from the articles provided by our writers? I hope you don’t think writers across the internet should provide useful content for free only, or for below minimum wage. That sure would limit the independent content and usefulness of the internet. And would leave a lot of room for the super rich and powerful to maintain their stranglehold on society and our energy industry.

            Again, your choice if you want to be irritated by an independent website teaming up with someone providing a useful product in order to both help readers and pay its writers better. We’ve got over 15 writers on this site and produce dozens and dozens of articles every week in an attempt to help others and the world. And I can guarantee you most of us could be making much more money doing something we find less useful to society…

          • Meh

            i wouldnt be irritated by useful articles, but like i said, this is as useful as tits on a bull.

            the only people who could have possibly benifited from anything in this .. ok .. ARTICLE .. are the terminally stupid. seriously./

            back up your work and use antivirus… sheesh..

            i hope i dont forget that!

            as for other articles here? dunno, this was the first one, i havnt ventured further, first impressions and all that.

            i believe people should be paid for their work.. but .. really, there was absolutely no work involved here. you probably spent more effort on your reply to me.

            MSE a useful product? gimme a break.. i wouldnt recommend that to my worst enemy.

            ive been using computers since they came out with 5 and a half inch floppies, never used a surge protector or battery back up ever, never had a problem.

            do i use adblock? nope, but i also dont see any ads either.

            maybe you could write an article telling your users the best way to avoid annoying ads, you know, theres a saftery side to that as well.. all for free too, very simple solution..

            but you wont get any kickbacks for that.

          • “as for other articles here? dunno, this was the first one”: ah, i see. how exactly did you stumble across this article, then? and feel so strongly about it to read to the end AND make a comment?

            you’re obviously well-versed in computers. so it’s not surprising these tips don’t help you. but many people are not in your boat, and i think this could help many people out. a ton of people (most, maybe) can’t tell you exactly what a browser is.

            can you provide a better tip for protecting these things? can you tell me something better than MSE? would love to know — i got a nearly unanimous recommendation for that from reddit, as stated above. (hint: add to the discussion if you have useful info not provided)

            again, i don’t quite catch why you spent so much time fully reading and commenting on a post you found completely useless right off the bat. ?? (and not even being a regular reader on this site.)

  • Andrew Merkle

    Thank you for disclosing that you received a product as compensation. The advice is still very good. Plus one for DropBox as a way to automatically synchronize (and back up) files. Also available are Carbonite and Mozy. Mac users should of course be making use of Apple’s built-in Time Machine backup wherever possible. A power-backup power strip is always a good idea, and if the Eaton 3S provides 30 percent greater energy savings that is significant for the environment and the wallet.

    • Thanks. Not familiar with Carbonite and Mozy. Will check them out. 😀

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