Imagine losing all of your important documents, contacts, information and family photographs at the same time. No, really. Go on, give it some thought. All of your photos gone forever. It’s not a pleasant thought is it?
Sadly as more information is held on computers and online, and as digital cameras and mobile phones replace traditional film cameras, the risk becomes very real. Computers and their component parts fail over time, and online crime or malware can damage or wipe all of your data in an instant.
Fortunately whilst creating a risk, technology also offers an easy way of protecting your precious data in the form of backups. By simply copying all of your data onto another device, you reduce the risk.
An external hard drive is the simplest option. Simply connect one to your PC, copy your data to it, disconnect it and then keep it somewhere safe. Remember that anyone with access to it would have access to your files, so consider using encryption or at least password protection unless you are going to lock it up somewhere secure. By keeping the backup at another location you provide simple protection against disasters, such as floods, fires or equipment theft.
Ideally it’s a good idea to keep multiple backups in more than one location, keeping them updated regularly in turn.
You may also consider using one of the online backup options as a good off-site backup. These can automate the process, ensuring that files are encrypted before uploading and updated as they are changed or added, and give you some peace of mind that in the event of a disaster, a copy of your data can be restored from your online vault. These services usually have a modest monthly or annual fee, however there are sometimes great offers on these services. If I spot any, I’ll include them on my Recommendations page. Take a look.
Whatever method you use, any backup is better than no backup, but do check that you can actually recover files from time to time.
Now go forth and backup your files!