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Going ‘All Digital’ Has Its Risks

By Steve Rensberry, Editor

I don’t know about you, but when it comes to keeping a calendar or appointment book I’m about as old-school as you can get. Maybe, and that’s a big maybe, I might schedule 5 or 6 appointments in any given calendar year using my Samsung Galaxy smart phone. But all the rest  — hundreds over the course of a year — go straight into a ringed appointment book. And because I loath throwing such things away, they’ve become the story of my life.

What I like most though about the old-school calendar method is the permanence. It’s there for reference and planning, with power or without, and not once does the maker harass me with an upgrade, not for a year anyway! No, I can’t back it up, but I have photocopied pages with reference notes I wanted to save. Loss of power isn’t the only thing affecting access to data in digital form, given the threat of hacking, software and data corruption, or just plain hardware failure that can wipe it all away in a flash. One photographer I know fears the same dire consequences with the billions of photographs taken almost daily around the world and stored on digital devices or hard drives. “Some day they’re going to lose them all,” he said. 

While planning books and photo options still exist, it’s scary to see just how dependent on digital technology we’ve become — in government, business, and elsewhere. News reports about the recent outage experienced by the Illinois Department of Employment Security is good example of just how dead-in-the-water things can become when the system goes down. For whatever reason, the department’s system crashed, causing data loss and a 3-day outage in the Illinois Benefit Information System, along with others, an official said.

I understand the value, and that the genie is clearly out of the bottle, but the day I stop using a physical planner in favor of a digital one is not likely to happen any time soon!

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