Writing a full novel manuscript takes a lot of research and time to write it. Only another novelist or aspiring author knows the full commitment and sacrifice it takes to write a novel, often described by the cliché ‘blood, sweat and tears’.
So how does this same writer not cause any further pain when they save their work?
Some tech experts say it is safe enough to save all their documents, from research and plotting to the writing of the various manuscript updates. Other experts blanch and this and wag their fingers with a No-No. They may advise the writer to save their work to an external drive. Fine – sounds fair and safe, but what about the obsessed writer who worries about their house burning down while they’re out. Carrying their external drive around with them also negates the security if their bag gets snatched. All sounds paranoid, doesn’t it?
But the risks are all there.
Other tech experts would insist on saving precious files to the cloud. Microsoft offers cloud savings as well as many others. But the worrying writer will point out all the glitches in cloud security and fret that their work will be snatched by online hackers. Another valid risk.
So where do the risks stop and where does the real safety of document filing begin?
Top Tips To Reduce Risks
Colin Tankard, Managing Director of data security company Digital Pathways said: "'Risk never stops unless the document has no interest or is publicly available."
Colin gave us these top tips to reduce risks and keep your data safe:
- Any document should be carefully considered and appropriate controls taken such as defining who can access the document.
- Long complex passwords are good, but hard to remember so use a password manager such as Lastpass, dashlane3, keepass etc.
- Use personal safety techniques with your technology such as always logging onto your computer using a password, encrypt your machines, don’t leave your equipment lying around on public transport, don’t have important documents on your phone or, if you do, encrypt your phone.
- Keep your important information in one place and back it up to a reliable, encrypted backup on a removable drive and again to the cloud using a service like carbonite.com who encrypt your data.
- Don’t spread your important information all over the place as it increases the risk of accidental disclosure.
Dual Threats For Your Self-PublishedManuscripts
Paul Talbot adept4 CTO, said: “adept4 is continually striving for excellence in the end user experience. A key element of this is working to ensure that people’s data is safe, secure and easily recoverable. Protecting data today means addressing a dual threat - one from the real world, and one from cyber space. Remember that it’s crucial that the physical location where data is being held, stored and processed is secure. Coupling cloud services with protection solutions is a pretty sure-proof way of achieving peace of mind. There are a variety of solutions and tools which can help to accomplish this.
Paul's favourite software suggestions to improve security include Trend Micro™ Endpoint Encryption and Office365:
- Trend Micro™ Endpoint Encryption is full disk, file encryption and data protection software that protects data on a wide range of devices—PC and Macintosh laptops, desktops, CDs, DVDs, USB drives and any other removable media. The great thing about this software is that it ensures privacy by encrypting data stored on your endpoints which can easily be lost or stolen. This allows you to maintain compliance and protect your data without disrupting users in the event of a lost device or forgotten password.
This software also allows users to identify a lost device before it boots so that appropriate policies can be applied using network-aware pre-boot authentication. Further benefits include improved protection for remote devices through tools which can remotely lock, reset, or “kill” lost or stolen devices and collect device-specific information such as device attributes, directory listing, and unique IDs based on device name, MAC address, and CPU identifier.
- Office 365 is a great, security-hardened service, which uses a ‘defense-in-depth’ approach which provides multiple layers of security to ensure your data is protected at every stage – both physically and remotely. Key security features include customer controls within the service; continuously updated spam and malware protection; continuous data backup, and highly-secure geo-redundant data centres - where data is stored in a secondary region 250+ miles from the primary region but within the same geography. Coupled with its extensive privacy controls, Office 365 also provides the security of knowing that your data will not be used for advertising and allows the flexibility of taking your data with you when you want to.
More Advice For Safe Manuscript Storage
Find out about encryption technology and how to encrypt your machines.
Read other articles on how to keep your self-published data safe!
Check out the list of free versus paid for options for storing your writing materials.