We keep a lot of important information stored safely away on our computers. We trust that the next time we power on the device, it will be there for us to use…until it’s not. For me, the situation became all too real while I was working on a book report project in high school. Over halfway through the month-long assignment, my flash drive I had been keeping my report on died. Despite my best efforts and frantic internet searching to recover my report, it was lost which meant extra work for me and a hard lesson learned. From that moment on, I made a vow to keep multiple copies of anything important. I was victim to hardware failure, but there are numerous other risks that could cause one to lose data.

Hardware Failure / Human Error

When your device fails, sometimes it’s because of the storage medium. Maybe it’s old, there is a fault in the manufacturing of the drive, a power surge, or perhaps someone accidentally dumped a glass of water over it. Another common occurrence is the unintentional deletion of a file. In these cases, there are professional data recovery options available. However, these are often very costly and easily mitigated by having a separate device, such as an external hard drive, flash drive, or another computer, that you regularly copy your important information too.

Malicious Software / Device Theft

Viruses and malware pose a constant danger to us and our data that can be stolen and/or deleted. Adding a Personal Cyber Protection Coverage to your insurance policy can help recover from such losses. In addition to having this coverage, it’s still important to keep a backup of your data as an assurance that your data is not lost and that you have quick access to it.

Hardware Loss

A tornado, house fire, or other natural disasters are awful events on their own, but when all of your data you kept on your computer and your local backups are destroyed too, it adds insult to injury. For these events, it’s best to have an off-site backup. Depending on your needs and availability, this might mean keeping a copy of your data at a friend or relative’s home or using a cloud-based backup solution for a nominal monthly fee.

Backup Solutions

Since high school year, I’ve become even more cautious to make sure I have access to my data when I need it. Personally, I use Duplicati to back up my data to an external hard drive kept in my home, and additionally to Backblaze’s B2 Cloud Storage, where my data is encrypted and stored for later retrieval if my PC and external hard drive are both lost. There are other solutions that are simple to set up such as Duplicati, Carbonite, Backblaze Personal Backup, and Acronis that will not only keep a copy of your data but also keep back up versions of files so that if you change a file and need to recover an older version you can.

What are additional ways that you have used to safely backup your data?

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2 responses to “Backing Up Your Computer is More Important Than You Think”

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