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Back It Up
Make an electronic copy of important files to protect yourself against data loss.
Our laptops, tablets, phones, and other devices contain vast amounts of data; often very important data. Whether it's family photos, music or video collection, or even important work data, each of these are only as secure as your device and are vulnerable to data loss or data infection. This can happen for a multitude of reasons including malware, spam, phishing, viruses, accidental deletion, theft, and natural disasters. So it is very important to back up your files regularly!
A backup is a simple three-step process:
- Make copies of your data
- Select storage method
- Safely store the backup device
Make Copies of Your Data
Most devices come with preinstalled backup software to enable data backups. These often come with the option to backup every file and program on your device, or just those that have been changed since the last backup. Here are some links to backup utilities in popular operating systems:
Select Storage Method
Choosing where to store your backup is important. You have the option to store it on a physical device such as an external hard drive, USB flash drive, or DVD - or on the web using a cloud-based solution.
- CDs, DVDs, and flash drives: Ideal for small data quantity such as photos, music, and video files.
- External hard drive: This option provides a lot of retail space for storage. You can store terabytes of data at fast rates. Performing regular backups onto your external hard drive is important in the case that your device breaks, you have everything you need.
- Online backup services: Cloud backup services often have a monthly subscription fee but are the hassle-free option as you don't have to bother with new hardware. You simply backup your files to a secure server over the internet. This is ideal for people who travel a lot and may need to have remote access to a wide range of files.
Safely Store the Backup Device
The last step of the solution is to safely store your backup device. As you are doing regular backups of your data, you want to keep the storage place near enough for regular backups, but safe enough to survive a natural disaster or theft. This could be a neighbor's house, a secure storage closet, or at your place of work. Ideally your backups should be done on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.