Have an External HD
This is SO incredibly important. Unfortunately it’s still something people blow off. Go to Fry’s (I don’t recommend Best Buy, they are overpriced) and get a small external HD no less than 1 TB and have your computer automatically back up every night. Some people use cloud services to back up files. This is probably a better bet since external HDs can go bad too but do you feel save with your important files and documents online? (even though they probably already are before you get them)
Keep your Media Files on the External HD
This is the best option for several reasons, media files eat up a TON of space and you can set up iTunes and other media software to save files to your external drive for everyday use. In addition, if someone steals your computer, hopefully they will leave the external HD, you will still have your media files. For those of us who work in the music industry who have uploaded thousands of songs to our hard drives over the years, you can only imagine how painful it would be to lose all that information and it can happen.
I would suggest getting something small like the one pictured and keeping it concealed, chances are if a thief is going to steal your computer, he will most certainly disconnect everything first.
Before You Download Apps to Edit Your Images and Music..
Don’t make a BIG MISTAKE like I did… READ THE REVIEWS… chances are the one with the MOST and the highest score is the best one. You can try to save money if you want to but you will end up wasting money if you get a crappy app that can’t do the job. You may have a few copies of the same song of the titles may be wrong for a few songs and you decide to download a cheap app to fix it. You will have a disaster on your hands.
The app will work but you will have about 8 copies of the same song and they will probably all be different lengths. This will create an even BIGGER problem than you had before. It’s best to just go ahead and manually fix the songs by deleting the bad ones yourself or make sure you get a reputable app.
Have a Backup of Your Backup
External HDs are pretty cheap these days. Fry’s always has them on sale, I have found 1TB for about $70. Why not buy 2 depending on how important your music files are to you.
Schedule your Computer to shut down Your Internet Connection Overnight…
We never know how secure our computers are but leaving it on all the time could certainly make you a target for a hacker. Just for safety’s sake you can schedule your Mac to automatically shut down every night in settings. Not sure about Windows, haven’t used Window’s in eons.
Be careful of using the Free WiFis
I personally don’t trust free wi-fi and neither should you and NEVER get the urge to check your bank account and you should even be careful checking your email. Free WiFi’s are very easy to hack and you want to make sure your information is safe. When you use coffee shops, there’s a good change someone in there is watching a movie which is going to desiccate the bandwidth and make your computer move like a turtle.
Invest in WiFi access from your cell phone
I strongly suggest spending that extra 20 bucks a month. Get it on your phone not a thumb drive or something that you might lose. it’s a great secure way to be able to use your laptop anywhere.
Have a Thumb Drive for Super Important files…
As a secondary backup plan at home of the office, you may want to just keep a thumb drive attached to your computer at all times so that you can do backups to important documents easily.
The BEST Apps to recover your Hard Drive
My personal recommendation is DataRescue. This app is about $50.00 but I promise you it can find the heartbeat on a corpse. A studio engineer recommended it to me and not only did it recover my hard drive, it also recovered a LOT of my deleted music.
Shop around for the Best Prices on Hard Drive Recovery
If your hard drive is just shot and there is no way that you can recover it and you have to use one of the brick and mortar services. SHOP AROUND…I had two friends who had their hard drives crash at the same time. One took it to one shop another went to another one. One paid $300 the other paid $2000 for basically the same kinds of hard drives. Try DataRescue FIRST. Another option is to take the HD out of the Windows computer (I would not try this with a Mac) get a case for it from Fry’s to make it external and recover it on another computer with DataRescue. I have tried it before and it works.