Will you survive losing all your data (photos, docs etc.)?
The subject of this article is what I often ask people I know are not very computer/tech savvy, because often they have no clue about backup or they know it’s something that they “should be doing”, but they either don’t know how or just “haven’t gotten around to it yet”.In almost every single case the answer to my question is “no”. Obviously, technically, you do survive a data loss, but imagine how terrible it must be to lose those hundreds of photos of your children growing up, that next “Harry Potter” story that you have been working on but didn’t have the courage to show anybody yet, or other priceless data. It would suck!So I use my “computer expertise” to help friends and family to get started with backups, and hopefully this article will also help you to get better security for your data
and keeping them safe, by reminding you to get started with backup or take action
to learn more about it or ask somebody for help.The thing is, it’s not a matter of “if” your hard drive will crash, it’s a matter of “when”. In most cases, we might have moved on to a new computer with a new drive before the old one dies, but even new drives can die in a matter of days or weeks, if you are unlucky. In 2011, almost 18% of all laptop problems reported
were related to the hard drive alone and 19% related to the operating system – so your data is certainly at risk quite often. Not to mention break-ins, floods, fires etc. Lots of things can destroy your data/computer, and sometimes your home too.
Here are my top tips on keeping your data safe and secure:
- Start doing backups, sooner rather than later.
- Make sure that your backup software is easy to understand and also try to test-restore some data to make sure that restore works and you know how to work it. A backup is worthless if you can’t restore your data.
- Try to look for backup software that also allows encryption of your backup, especially if you use backup software that will either back up your data to the cloud or to a friend over the Internet. You don’t want nosy people poking around in your family photos.
- If taking backup on an external hard drive, you need to buy an extra – and rotate them between your house and a safe place. A backup on an external drive, next to your computer, is worthless if a thief steals both your computer and your backup drive – or if a fire burns everything down to the ground.
- Finally, there’s a saying that goes something like this “data never really exists unless you have at least 2 copies of it”. Data on just one drive is at high risk of being lost, data on 2 drives are safer (but not completely), while data on 3 drives/places are much safer – as long as you keep some kind of distance between your copies.
Now, get started doing those backups!
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