After the Storm – Protecting Your Computer

As anyone in Lawrence, Topeka, or Kansas City knows, we had one heck of a storm last night.  I spent a good part of the evening in the basement.  That wasn’t fun.  I’m sure you didn’t have fun either.

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This bad weather is an excellent time to talk though about the importance of offsite backup, while it’s fresh in everyone’s mind.   I did the same reminder a few years ago after the severe weather in Houston.  Local backups to an external hard drive in your home or business is an excellent secondary method of backup.   However, backing up to an online service is your best backup, because if something happens to your home or office an on-site backup is lost.  Over the years, I found often it wasn’t a direct hit by a tornado that caused damage, but water.  Rain might have leaked in.  For example, one client had a tree fall into her office.  It was the rain that ruined everything. If your computer does get wet, please follow our instructions for “I just spilled something on my laptop.”

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A common question we get asked is about protection against surges and lightning.  A majority of people aren’t protected.  I wrote about this a few years ago, and my opinion remains pretty much the same.  I’d advise though now getting uninterruptible power supply (UPS) with USB ports.  I have one of these in my home and what I like is it not only protects against surges but also provides battery backup for my internet and phone.  It was $50 and a worthwhile investment.

During an electrical storm, we recommend unplugging the computer power from the wall. We also recommend unplugging Ethernet cords from both the back of your cable modem as well as your computer.  Surges can travel through those lines even if the computer is off and unplugged.

Finally, if you have valuable electronics you rely on for a home-based (including remote employees)  or small business, please consider getting your devices scheduled on your insurance.  That can often cover both damages to the computer as well as data recovery should these things come up.

If you have any questions about protecting your computer against surges or data loss, please email us.  We always consult on things like this at no charge and for the next week, we’re waiving any labor fees to install an offsite backup, which is about $60 year.   Call/text 785-841-8766 or email

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