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Protect Your Most Valuable Assets

December 4th, 2011 | by MiW | No Comments

Author: Michael Wahlster

While it is easy to grasp that shiny new computers or feature-loaded laptops have a tangible value and should be protected against damage and loss, it is actually the intangible data residing on those computers that are much more valuable and, in many cases, irreplaceable if the proper protective measures are lacking.


It’s always shocking to learn
how many translators give no thought to
and spend no effort on
securing their data,
even though these data are
the lifeblood of their business.

For better or for worse, most data that drive a freelance translator’s business exist in electronic form. This goes way beyond source and target documents. We all keep reference material and glossaries on our hard drives and accumulate translation memory entries. The e-mail correspondence with our clients resides on the same drives, as do our bookkeeping files where we keep track of invoices and payments. And that is probably not everything. What about software we downloaded, our fonts, or credentials for access to websites and accounts? What about browser bookmarks and other important reference material we found on the Internet?

In discussions with colleagues, it is always shocking to learn how many translators put no thought or effort into developing strategies to secure their data, even though these data are the lifeblood of their business. Where does that leave you in case something happens to your computer after a fire, flood, or theft? Hardware is easy to replace – just walk into the nearest Best Buy and you are all set. However, with your accounting, your e-mail archives, and translation memories gone, not to mention any projects you may have been working on, you will have a much harder time to recover.

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