This post brought to you by LastPass. The content and opinions expressed below are that of Kara Carrero.
A young toddler wielding a liquid in the living room by an open laptop.
It’s not a modern twist to the game CLUE, rather, it’s the start of the story of the demise of my first MacBook. It all went down in seconds without me even knowing as I thought I was giving my girls a treat by letting them watch a movie on my computer as I got other things done in the next room.
“Where did the movie go?!?!” I heard Jenn scream from around the corner. “EMMA, NO!!!” she continued. And the next few seconds were a blur as I came through the door to find an entire bottle of water spilled onto my less-than-6-month-old laptop. My heart stopped and my entire computer’s history flashed before my eyes. Panicked, I picked it up, wiped water off off it, all while sobbing in frustration. My mind was racing…
How would I even access all of my accounts?
Would I ever manage to recover the pictures?
Was anything salvageable?
We were at the store that week looking for a new laptop, but more importantly, my husband and I were planning on implementing back-up plans for our technology in case it ever happened again. Because kids spill water and I know I am not the first parent on earth to lose an electronic device to their toddler or preschooler holding a liquid substance.
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6 Important technology safeguards to make sure you never have the headache of digitally losing everything
Through that empty feeling of thinking everything was gone including irreplaceable pictures and knowing I would spend countless hours recovering and resetting hundreds of passwords because I didn’t know them, we made a commitment to having better computer and technology safeguards in place.
Specify kid-safe and kid-free devices
My girls are no longer allowed to watch movies or be on my laptop. Instead, we have a family ipad they use for movies and it actually sits on a tablet stand so that it’s up off laps and tables and hopefully is less likely to see the same demise.
Read more about how to share a family iPad safely.
Use LastPass to save & access passwords across devices
I opened a free account with LastPass to both store and generate passwords for me. I even added a second layer of authentication. This ensures my password vault is safe while allowing me to have the peace of mind my passwords would be with me on any device… not sitting on a computer or phone that didn’t work anymore.
Even if my kids had never destroyed my laptop, I still have always hated not remembering passwords between laptops, tablets, and phones. But LastPass allows ease of access to all passwords across all devices by only having to remember one master password. It auto-populates previously generated passwords when needing to log in to accounts and even creates strong passwords for even the most sensitive information. Because of their bank-level security standards and all passwords getting synced and backed up automatically into an encrypted digital vault, it’s a safe and convenient way to never worry about losing saved passwords on a corrupt computer or hard drive. Plus, only you and those you have granted emergency access to can retrieve those passwords.
Write safety measures into screen time contracts (even with your toddlers)
Part of the discussion we had with our older daughter about the dreaded “water meets laptop” scenario is that she was the one who gave her younger sister water.
So we discussed rules about food and drinks never being on the same table or surface near an electronic device. And of course, when we literally wrote out a screentime and digital device rules contract with her, that was part fo what we made sure to include before she signed it.
Read more about the benefits of device contracts for toddlers and preschoolers.
Have an external hard drive
It is said that digital information does not exist unless it is stored in three separate places. This means that as computer users, we cannot count on the safety of digital-only files unless we back it up at least twice in different means.
Therefore, when I purchased a new laptop, I got an external hard drive specifically for pictures and important files and also a second drive to do regular full-hard drive information backups.
Invest in a cloud service (or two) of some sort
Again, make sure all of your important files and information are housed somewhere other than on your computer. We have made sure that our pictures, at the very least, are on 2 different clouds.
If you’re looking at having 3 full back-ups beyond your internal computer hard drive, it’s important to note that looking into cloud services, you need to choose two that are actually in different locations. While multiple companies offer the same service, they could be in the same server location which is not actually a second form of back-up.
Mark Your calendar for back-ups
For months I said I was going to back-up my pictures and passwords. And I was literally going to do it that day but kept pushing it back. So now, I make sure that it’s on my calendar so I do it regularly
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Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!