Computer viruses and crashes have caused me a lot of head and heart ache. They have no doubt caused countless other writers the same.
Many, many years ago, I encountered my first computer virus. When my computer wouldn’t turn on, my heart didn’t beat for several seconds. I spent days in a panic, afraid I’d lost nearly a third of my book. After paying a technician to fix the problem, I was relieved to have my computer in working order and my entire book. I was lucky then.
Even the time when my computer was not repairable due to a vicious Trojan, I was lucky because I had saved all of my work on floppy disks. Do you remember those?
But once I was far from lucky and lost two whole books. The tragic thing was it wasn’t due to a virus, but someone’s error that erased my recent (unsaved) documents. I was devastated. I cried and raged for days. I never worked on the stories again. But I do have the ideas stored away in my brain for the day when I have the energy to rewrite them.
Throughout the years, I’ve had countless close calls. So many that I’ve learned my lesson. Now I take precautions, which I’ll share to prevent you from going through what I have:
1. Use a Sans Disk Flash Drive every time you update a document. I can’t praise this device enough. It’s small and can easily be slipped into your pocket. You can find them at Wal-Mart.
2. Run software that can find and destroy harmful viruses. I use the free edition of Super Anti Spyware.
3. Create two separate accounts on your computer, just as you would if you shared your computer and had separate profiles for each person. In this case, you’ll have one account for Internet use and one solely for writing. I do this, so if need to delete the affected account, my books will be safe.
SHARE: Your techniques to protecting your computer and documents.
QUESTIONS: Have you ever lost your work due to a virus or another computer glitch? How did you deal with it?