Discussions

The life expectancy of your SSD depends on many factors. Such as if you have a multicell, triple cell, or quad cell model. The cheaper SSD’s (triple and quad cell) will try and cram more cells into the same place, which will increase the amount of data that can be written to the same spot, but will decrease it’s life.  One big thing you can do to help increase the life of your SSD is to always leave 20-10% free. By filling it up only 80-90%, it gives room for the SSD to move data around and write new data on free cells. This will also increase your speed by leaving free space open. So when looking to buy an SSD, if you think you will only need 100GB, don’t go by the 120GB model. Buy the 240GB model and it will last twice as long because it will prevent writing to the same cells and wearing them out as fast. Get the biggest one you can afford, and leave free space. Having a quality power supply, which prevents power fluctuations, and keeping it cool will also increase an SSD’s life. SSD’s are smart and if blocks are starting to wear down and not hold data, they will flag that those blocks are bad and that it won’t try writing data there anymore. The top SSD brands, which also come with a premium, are Samsung, Kingston, and Corsair. These will last you a bit over 1 petabyte of writes (1024TB). Cheaper models will die before this, around 700-900TB’s written.  Most SSD’s will last the average user the age of most of the other parts in their machine.  There have been some cases where an SSD can still be read, but not written. Which is great so you can get your data off and back it up still. But hopefully you have replaced it by then. 

I agree with Rich DC’s post and he sums it up pretty well. I personally like doing external hard drive backups. Not too expensive, last long because they aren’t connected to the computer and running all day, and not as prone to hacking because they are disconnected. You do need to make sure that you back it up regularly though compared to other automatic methods. Simple answer: While you should be updating your backups at least every 6 months and don’t have to usually worry about the following, if you fill up a hard drive and want to just have that sit on the shelf for archival reasons for years on end, I would recommend still plugging in your hard drive in every year or so. Technical answer: For mechanical hard drives, plugging in every so often will keep the lubricants in the spinning platters and arm from drying out, and allow it to check for bad sectors (data corruption). In SSD’s, while great because they don’t have moving mechanisms that can fail and are more durable from drops and such, plugging in will help recharge the cells with new electrical charges. SSD’s don’t store information as long as mechanical hard drives because they rely on trapping an electrical charge in a small transistor and that can weaken over time, especially in heat. A general rule is that if left on a shelf untouched, a hard drive can start showing signs of data loss in about 5-7 years, and an SSD in about a 1-2 years. Lots of factors here though, manufacturing, how old the drive is, how much it has been used, temperatures, humidity, etc…

Having worked for a police department, I have seen so many stolen vehicle and vehicle break-ins. Here are some tips that I can think of. Try to park where people are. Don’t park in the very back area of the parking lot where the bad guy will have your car all to himself. Park under a lamp post at night Look for the store’s security cameras and where they are pointed at and park there. Don’t rely on this if your car gets broken into though. The cameras are usually old, don’t produce clear video, are far away, and if it is night, the video is almost always to dark to see anything. But maybe the bad guy will think they are smart and only target vehicles out of the camera’s line of sight. NEVER leave your car running. During the winter there was always 2-3 stolen cars from driveways that were stolen from the owners letting them warm up. We called them “puffers” because the bad guys would just walk down streets looking for which car is puffing out exhaust and doesn’t have a driver in it.  Always roll up your windows and lock your doors.  If you have a car alarm system (might need to read owners manual) learn how to use it.  Tint your rear windows in accordance with your city’s laws to make it harder for them to look into your car. Use a steering wheel lock. Even if they are just going to smash-and-grab, this might show that you are serious about security. Our PD would give these out for free to owners of the top 10 most stolen vehicle makes if they called in. Don’t think of your center console or glove compartment as a safe. This is where bad guys look most of the time for valuables. Get a dash camera that will not only help you and the police out incase of an accident, but many nicer ones have motion detection and parking modes that will start recording if they sense someone walking around your vehicle or if they bump your vehicle. One like this records the outside and inside of the vehicle.   Another out of the box idea is to place a fake security sticker on your windows. Amazon has some.  And my number one tip, DON’T leave your gun in your car! So many guns get stolen out of vehicles by criminals who steal your car or just break into it. They do sometimes get recovered, sometimes they don’t. I’ve seen guns get recovered from a car break in from like 40 years ago and the gun is on the other side of the country. Many times you won’t get your gun back because it might have been involved in a crime and needs to be used as evidence. 

Sorry… Long post here… Having a backup of important information and documents has been a lifesaver for me countless times. This is a great example of modern and urban prepping. It’s not everyday that I need to start a fire at my office with a firesteel, but if I need to email someone a copy of my drivers license or look at the last time I had a check up at my doctor, these important documents come in handy very often. I agree with Matt Black’s comment that security and redundancy is key. If you are comfortable encrypting a flash drive then that is something highly recommended. I have all these important documents on me at all times on a small flash drive, on a flash drive and extra cell phone in my BOB, multiple external hard drives, on my computer, and also stored on the cloud which will be accessible from anywhere at anytime with an internet connection. Photocopying, scanning, documenting, and saving all sorts of emails, documents, id’s, records, and many more really gives me a sense of security that I have everything that I need in a clean organized fashion. Right now I just have everything stored electronically. I have USB to cellphone adapters so that I can access these documents on my main or BOB cellphone if needed and I am away from a computer, but having a hard copy of the very important documents would be a good idea that I still need to implement. Here is a list of my important document list. Feel free to adapt it to your needs and organization style: PERSONAL DOCUMENTS: ☐ Birth Certificates / Death Certificates ☐ Social Security Cards ☐ Driver’s Licenses ☐ Concealed Carry Permits ☐ Passports / Visas ☐ Marriage Records ☐ Military Records ☐ Voter Registration Cards ☐ Journals ☐ Password Manager List of Online Accounts with Usernames, Passwords, PIN #s, and Account #s ☐ A Recent clear photo of each family member ☐ Family Emergency Plan ☐ Map of Area/ Evacuation Route / Rendezvous Point ☐ List of Relatives and most Important Contacts with Phone# and physical Address MEDICAL: ☐ Medical Records ☐ Medical Insurance Cards ☐ Immunization Records ☐ Prescription List and with Dosage and Schedule ☐ Dental Records ☐ Allergies (Food / Substance / Prescription, etc.) of each Family Member VALUABLES AND PROPERTY: ☐ Combinations to Safes ☐ Safety Deposit Box Information and Contact ☐ Firearm Licenses and Serial Numbers ☐ Warranties for any Major Possessions ☐ Home Inventory List with Pictures, Descriptions, Receipts, Serial Numbers BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT: ☐ Business Licenses ☐ Business Insurance Records ☐ Resumes, References, History of previous jobs FINANCES: ☐ Checkbook Information ☐ Photo copy of back and front of Credit Card / Debit Card with Pin Numbers ☐ Checking and Savings Bank account numbers ☐ Paycheck Stub from Current Places of Employment ☐ Tax Return for past 3 Years ☐ Credit Reports ☐ Stock Certificates / Savings Bonds / Certificates of Deposit / Mutual Funds ☐ Loan Documents (For Student Loans, Lines of Credit) ☐ 401K Plan Information and Contact ☐ Retirement Pension Plan Documents ☐ Retirement Social Security Income Documents HOME, VEHICLES AND PROPERTY: ☐ Titles, Deeds to All Properties & Vehicles ☐ Insurance Policies / ID Cards (For Properties, Vehicles, etc.) ☐ Handicap Placards ☐ Vehicle Registrations / License plate numbers ☐ Vehicle Repair History / Repair Manuals / Owners Manuals / Safety Recall Information ☐ Home Repair History ☐ Pictures of Vehicles ☐ Mortgage Papers / Rental / Lease Agreements with contact information ☐ Utilities information, account numbers, and contact information. Recent utility bill ☐ Home Security Codes and Contact Information ☐ Photo Copy of Keys, each labeled (Home, Cars, Safes, RV, Mailbox, Shed, Gate, etc.) EDUCATION: ☐ Diplomas and Certificates ☐ Church Records ☐ Academic Records and Transcripts ☐ School ID’s LEGAL: ☐ Living Will / Final Will ☐ Contact Info for everyone named in Will / Trust ☐ Trust Information and Contact ☐ Life Insurance Policies ☐ Burial (Funeral) Insurance Policies ☐ Medical power of attorney / health care directive OTHER: ☐ Electronic and/or Manual Lock codes to padlocks/entry gates, etc. ☐ Recent picture of pets from multiple angles, copies of their medical info, vaccinations, Microchip info, adoption papers ☐ Important Clearance Documents, Badges, Parking Passes, Security Passes, Library Cards, National Parks Pass etc. ☐ Old and Outdated Documents ☐ Other… Is there anything that I missed that you would recommend me adding to my list? 🙂 I would love your feedback.


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The life expectancy of your SSD depends on many factors. Such as if you have a multicell, triple cell, or quad cell model. The cheaper SSD’s (triple and quad cell) will try and cram more cells into the same place, which will increase the amount of data that can be written to the same spot, but will decrease it’s life.  One big thing you can do to help increase the life of your SSD is to always leave 20-10% free. By filling it up only 80-90%, it gives room for the SSD to move data around and write new data on free cells. This will also increase your speed by leaving free space open. So when looking to buy an SSD, if you think you will only need 100GB, don’t go by the 120GB model. Buy the 240GB model and it will last twice as long because it will prevent writing to the same cells and wearing them out as fast. Get the biggest one you can afford, and leave free space. Having a quality power supply, which prevents power fluctuations, and keeping it cool will also increase an SSD’s life. SSD’s are smart and if blocks are starting to wear down and not hold data, they will flag that those blocks are bad and that it won’t try writing data there anymore. The top SSD brands, which also come with a premium, are Samsung, Kingston, and Corsair. These will last you a bit over 1 petabyte of writes (1024TB). Cheaper models will die before this, around 700-900TB’s written.  Most SSD’s will last the average user the age of most of the other parts in their machine.  There have been some cases where an SSD can still be read, but not written. Which is great so you can get your data off and back it up still. But hopefully you have replaced it by then. 

I agree with Rich DC’s post and he sums it up pretty well. I personally like doing external hard drive backups. Not too expensive, last long because they aren’t connected to the computer and running all day, and not as prone to hacking because they are disconnected. You do need to make sure that you back it up regularly though compared to other automatic methods. Simple answer: While you should be updating your backups at least every 6 months and don’t have to usually worry about the following, if you fill up a hard drive and want to just have that sit on the shelf for archival reasons for years on end, I would recommend still plugging in your hard drive in every year or so. Technical answer: For mechanical hard drives, plugging in every so often will keep the lubricants in the spinning platters and arm from drying out, and allow it to check for bad sectors (data corruption). In SSD’s, while great because they don’t have moving mechanisms that can fail and are more durable from drops and such, plugging in will help recharge the cells with new electrical charges. SSD’s don’t store information as long as mechanical hard drives because they rely on trapping an electrical charge in a small transistor and that can weaken over time, especially in heat. A general rule is that if left on a shelf untouched, a hard drive can start showing signs of data loss in about 5-7 years, and an SSD in about a 1-2 years. Lots of factors here though, manufacturing, how old the drive is, how much it has been used, temperatures, humidity, etc…

Having worked for a police department, I have seen so many stolen vehicle and vehicle break-ins. Here are some tips that I can think of. Try to park where people are. Don’t park in the very back area of the parking lot where the bad guy will have your car all to himself. Park under a lamp post at night Look for the store’s security cameras and where they are pointed at and park there. Don’t rely on this if your car gets broken into though. The cameras are usually old, don’t produce clear video, are far away, and if it is night, the video is almost always to dark to see anything. But maybe the bad guy will think they are smart and only target vehicles out of the camera’s line of sight. NEVER leave your car running. During the winter there was always 2-3 stolen cars from driveways that were stolen from the owners letting them warm up. We called them “puffers” because the bad guys would just walk down streets looking for which car is puffing out exhaust and doesn’t have a driver in it.  Always roll up your windows and lock your doors.  If you have a car alarm system (might need to read owners manual) learn how to use it.  Tint your rear windows in accordance with your city’s laws to make it harder for them to look into your car. Use a steering wheel lock. Even if they are just going to smash-and-grab, this might show that you are serious about security. Our PD would give these out for free to owners of the top 10 most stolen vehicle makes if they called in. Don’t think of your center console or glove compartment as a safe. This is where bad guys look most of the time for valuables. Get a dash camera that will not only help you and the police out incase of an accident, but many nicer ones have motion detection and parking modes that will start recording if they sense someone walking around your vehicle or if they bump your vehicle. One like this records the outside and inside of the vehicle.   Another out of the box idea is to place a fake security sticker on your windows. Amazon has some.  And my number one tip, DON’T leave your gun in your car! So many guns get stolen out of vehicles by criminals who steal your car or just break into it. They do sometimes get recovered, sometimes they don’t. I’ve seen guns get recovered from a car break in from like 40 years ago and the gun is on the other side of the country. Many times you won’t get your gun back because it might have been involved in a crime and needs to be used as evidence. 

Sorry… Long post here… Having a backup of important information and documents has been a lifesaver for me countless times. This is a great example of modern and urban prepping. It’s not everyday that I need to start a fire at my office with a firesteel, but if I need to email someone a copy of my drivers license or look at the last time I had a check up at my doctor, these important documents come in handy very often. I agree with Matt Black’s comment that security and redundancy is key. If you are comfortable encrypting a flash drive then that is something highly recommended. I have all these important documents on me at all times on a small flash drive, on a flash drive and extra cell phone in my BOB, multiple external hard drives, on my computer, and also stored on the cloud which will be accessible from anywhere at anytime with an internet connection. Photocopying, scanning, documenting, and saving all sorts of emails, documents, id’s, records, and many more really gives me a sense of security that I have everything that I need in a clean organized fashion. Right now I just have everything stored electronically. I have USB to cellphone adapters so that I can access these documents on my main or BOB cellphone if needed and I am away from a computer, but having a hard copy of the very important documents would be a good idea that I still need to implement. Here is a list of my important document list. Feel free to adapt it to your needs and organization style: PERSONAL DOCUMENTS: ☐ Birth Certificates / Death Certificates ☐ Social Security Cards ☐ Driver’s Licenses ☐ Concealed Carry Permits ☐ Passports / Visas ☐ Marriage Records ☐ Military Records ☐ Voter Registration Cards ☐ Journals ☐ Password Manager List of Online Accounts with Usernames, Passwords, PIN #s, and Account #s ☐ A Recent clear photo of each family member ☐ Family Emergency Plan ☐ Map of Area/ Evacuation Route / Rendezvous Point ☐ List of Relatives and most Important Contacts with Phone# and physical Address MEDICAL: ☐ Medical Records ☐ Medical Insurance Cards ☐ Immunization Records ☐ Prescription List and with Dosage and Schedule ☐ Dental Records ☐ Allergies (Food / Substance / Prescription, etc.) of each Family Member VALUABLES AND PROPERTY: ☐ Combinations to Safes ☐ Safety Deposit Box Information and Contact ☐ Firearm Licenses and Serial Numbers ☐ Warranties for any Major Possessions ☐ Home Inventory List with Pictures, Descriptions, Receipts, Serial Numbers BUSINESS AND EMPLOYMENT: ☐ Business Licenses ☐ Business Insurance Records ☐ Resumes, References, History of previous jobs FINANCES: ☐ Checkbook Information ☐ Photo copy of back and front of Credit Card / Debit Card with Pin Numbers ☐ Checking and Savings Bank account numbers ☐ Paycheck Stub from Current Places of Employment ☐ Tax Return for past 3 Years ☐ Credit Reports ☐ Stock Certificates / Savings Bonds / Certificates of Deposit / Mutual Funds ☐ Loan Documents (For Student Loans, Lines of Credit) ☐ 401K Plan Information and Contact ☐ Retirement Pension Plan Documents ☐ Retirement Social Security Income Documents HOME, VEHICLES AND PROPERTY: ☐ Titles, Deeds to All Properties & Vehicles ☐ Insurance Policies / ID Cards (For Properties, Vehicles, etc.) ☐ Handicap Placards ☐ Vehicle Registrations / License plate numbers ☐ Vehicle Repair History / Repair Manuals / Owners Manuals / Safety Recall Information ☐ Home Repair History ☐ Pictures of Vehicles ☐ Mortgage Papers / Rental / Lease Agreements with contact information ☐ Utilities information, account numbers, and contact information. Recent utility bill ☐ Home Security Codes and Contact Information ☐ Photo Copy of Keys, each labeled (Home, Cars, Safes, RV, Mailbox, Shed, Gate, etc.) EDUCATION: ☐ Diplomas and Certificates ☐ Church Records ☐ Academic Records and Transcripts ☐ School ID’s LEGAL: ☐ Living Will / Final Will ☐ Contact Info for everyone named in Will / Trust ☐ Trust Information and Contact ☐ Life Insurance Policies ☐ Burial (Funeral) Insurance Policies ☐ Medical power of attorney / health care directive OTHER: ☐ Electronic and/or Manual Lock codes to padlocks/entry gates, etc. ☐ Recent picture of pets from multiple angles, copies of their medical info, vaccinations, Microchip info, adoption papers ☐ Important Clearance Documents, Badges, Parking Passes, Security Passes, Library Cards, National Parks Pass etc. ☐ Old and Outdated Documents ☐ Other… Is there anything that I missed that you would recommend me adding to my list? 🙂 I would love your feedback.


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