There’s a scene in an Eddie Murphy movie where he plays a character named Kit. He is a scattered and painfully funny type of guy and when he gets freaked out, he encourages his not-so-confident self with this: “What’s my name? Kit. K. I. T. Keep It Together. Keep It Together. KIT.”
That’s how I feel when think about my business and personal computer data. I have to remind myself to keep it together… . Sometimes, I have to remember not to freak out, for example, when I lose two years worth of blog posts to operator error.
Enter Lifestream Backup, a new service to backup and secure your online life. The idea behind Lifestream Backup is that you secure all the data contained in the online services you use.
You may be asking “Why do I need to back up data, if it’s already part of an online service? Those services are pretty secure.” I would have to say you’re right; they are secure and not so likely to fail.
But they do get hacked from time to time. You may also be like me and think, “I can do this particular account setting step myself” and then lose all your data with the click of a button, even after the system asks you repeatedly “are you sure you want to do this?” That’s how I lost two years worth of blog posts.
Jason Falls, chief evangelist at Lifestream Backup, offered a recent example of an online data loss. “When Ma.gnolia [the social bookmarking site] went down in February; people just flat lost their bookmarks. Poof! Gone! If that ever happened to Flickr, a lot of families would lose their memories and archives of their kid’s lives. We solve that problem,” he explained.
In only 15 minutes, I signed up for and configured Lifestream Backup in very few steps to secure my online accounts at Flickr, Google Docs, Basecamp, Twitter, Delicious, and my WordPress blogs.
Here as the steps to backing up the data from your online services:
Step 1: Sign up for the free trial.
Step 2: Log in, which takes you straight to “My Settings” (shown just above here) where the screen is so easy and clear you can’t miss it. You are presented with “Service Settings” for all the current services Lifestream Backup offers. More are in the works. Gmail backup is possible starting end of this month.
You click “Manage” and a simple box appears to the right asking for your username and password at that service. If it takes more authentication than that, you’ll get an additional screen like the following. You get directed through a few more easy-to-understand screens and then you’re done.
Step 3: Click “Manage” for each of the services you want backed up. Each one literally takes only a minute or less.
Step 4: You’re done. You can then go check back and see the history and archives.
This brings me to the primary downside that I spotted, and which the founder, Rob May, was quite willing to admit — there is no push button solution to restore all that info to the appropriate accounts. You have to do it manually. However, he told me they are actively working on an automated restore function. I’d expect it to be there quite soon.
Other than the restore options, which I still hope I’ll never have to use, I’m very excited by how easy this online backup service works. There is no better way to say it than Jason Falls did: Don’t lose memories, don’t lose mission-critical documents or emails. Your data resides in the cloud and storms occasionally hit. Having redundancies built into your online life seems prudent, to say the least.
If Eddie Murphy’s Kit has taught me anything, it is certainly to “keep it together,” in more than one place.
Learn more about Lifestream Backup.
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About the Author:TJ McCue is the strategic content guy at Q4 Sales and founder of Sales Rescue Team. He blogs at Dun & Bradstreet’s AllBusiness.com about online research and marketing.