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How to Protect Your Amazing Software Invention

The dream of many a programmer is to have an amazing idea and become the next Mark Zuckerberg. This article ensures that a hacked computer or corrupt harddrive won’t ruin that dream just as you get close.

One of the most exciting things about being a software developer is the fact that any point you could have an amazing idea that changes the world and makes you rich. That’s the dream of many a programmer, and while it might sound ambitious – or impossible even – there are actually plenty of examples of it happening and of people managing to do just that.

Just take a look at Summly – the app by Nick D’Aloiso that was bought by Yahoo for huge amounts of cash, or a look at Facebook which was created in a college dorm room and subsequently took over the world. It can be done – you just need a little determination, a bit of imagination, a great idea and the skill to make it a reality.

But having the idea and creating it isn’t always enough. Even at this point you will still be at risk of losing your idea either through damage to your property or your computers, through people steeling your ideas, or through corrupt or lost files.

So if you have an amazing idea and you’ve begun turning it into a reality, how do you keep it safe?

Backing Up

The first thing you must do when turning your idea into reality is to back up everything you create as you go along. This can be a lengthy process and won’t be much fun if you do it by hand, so the best strategy these days is to use software like SkyDrive or like DropBox. These apps will allow you to save files into folders on your harddrive and have them instantly backed up online. This way, even if your computer were to be incinerated in a fire, you will still have your idea safe on the cloud.

It’s also a good idea every now and then to back up versions of your software on a memory stick. This will allow you to avoid making an error in your code that you can’t fix, and then having to rewrite pretty much your entire program as a result. At the same time there’s also just something rather satisfying about being able to hold a memory pen that holds your magnum opus on it and that might change the world…

Protecting Your Files

Now you want to make sure that no one else is going to steal your work through hacking or even through finding your computer if you should lose it. Make sure you have the best security installed in both your home and your computer. Password protect any folders containing your sensitive data, encrypt files and use personal codes if necessary, and make sure that your passwords are strong and use a combination of symbols, numbers and letters in different cases.

Protecting Your IP

Finally you can protect yourself legally by getting intellectual property protection. Note that any code you write is instantly protected under copyright, as long as you can prove that you wrote it first. Keep a journal of your creation as you go along and update it every day and this can serve as useful evidence in court should it come to that.

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