We all (or almost all!) go on holidays from time to time - so what to do with your oh-so-valuable Mac while you're away? Well, there are a few things to consider, not that I would wish any of these things on any of you! Plan ahead and put your mind at ease.
1. Back It Up!
The most important thing you can do before going away is to make sure you've made a full backup of your Mac, or at least your important files. Why? Because you never know what could happen while you're away. Burglary, fire, water damage, electrical damage, it's impossible to know in advance, so why take the risk? If you haven't already got one, go out and buy yourself a USB hard disk. Get a big one, 500gb+. Make sure you have plenty of space for the future. Then let your Mac back up everything with Time Machine. If you already have a hard disk and you already use Time Machine, it will take no time at all to complete a final backup before you leave.
2. Secure your backup.
The worst thing you can do is back it up and then leave the backup sitting beside your Mac. In the case of theft, they'll certainly take your backup drive too. In the case of fire etc., you will almost certainly lose your backup drive. Starting with the most secure option, leave your backup drive with someone else, away from your home. If you can't do that, at least put it somewhere safe inside your home. Perhaps in a fire-safe, or high up in a wardrobe somewhere where it's not obvious. The safer your backup drive is, the safer your data is.
3. Switch Off & Unplug your Mac.
If you can, switch it off and disconnect it from the mains electrical supply. Firstly, you will save energy while you're away. Secondly, your Mac will be glad of the rest. Thirdly, if there is a mains problem while you are away, you avoid the risk of damage to the power supply, motherboard or hard disk of your Mac via a power spike. In some countries, this is not a problem (often) whereas in others it is a continuous risk. If it happens, it can be costly.
The thing is, your Mac can be replaced for a fee, be it large or small. Your data cannot and it is your responsibility to back it up, no one else's! There are other means of creating backups too, like online cloud storage, which we'll cover in another post.
Bear these things in mind if you care about your data. By data, I mean any files you have on your Mac. Photos. Music. Movies. Documents. Anything that's on that Mac that you don't have somewhere else. It's easy to forget them, but if you lose them you will regret it. Imagine losing all your photos from the past 10 years, just because you delayed in spending that €100 or so on a good backup drive! Believe me, it's not worth the tears.
So backup, switch off and have a great holiday!