Taking Control of our Digital Lives

Within a week’s span of one another, my work backup drive and my home iMac’s SSD drives failed. Completely and without warning. The backup drive isn’t a big deal, since all my work is on git or dropbox. However, my home machine was rendered completely useless as I returned home to edit my vacation photos.

Luckily, I use an external drive at home to store my photos and I use Time Machine to keep my main drive (only 120GB) backed up. All my data is safe (*grammar nerds: fuck you).

In addition to all that, my Wordpress install got hacked.

These issues have lead to some questions I began asking myself. The data on these drives matter to me. My blog matters to me. So why am I taking such risks?

As a result of asking these questions, I made some major changes to the way I manage my digital life. I purchased a Squarespace account to host my blog. I purchased Backblaze to store off-site backups of all of my data. I’m not taking risks with what matters to me. I upgraded my Internet account from the cheapest, most basic package I could pay for.

These changes fit in with what I’ve been doing this year to take control of my digital life. I’m looking at what matters to me and what I enjoy doing. If something matters, but I don’t enjoy it, then I’m happy to pay someone else to do it for me.

I hate managing web servers, but I had to do it to have a Wordpress website. So I got rid of it.

Boom.

As another example, I purchased 1Password a few months ago to help me keep my online identity secure. I paid a one-time $50 pricetag, and now I never have to worry about my identity getting stolen online because the Playstation Network got hacked (again).

In some ways, this is a financial burden. I’m paying a little bit of money each month, but the benefit is so worth it. Now I can spend that extra mental effort I was wasting on ways to enrich my life, including earning money. It’s a net win.

I’m taking control of my life online because it matters to me and because I’d rather spend time doing what I value than waste time to try and save what amounts to only a few dollars a month.


Posted on August 24, 2012