Should You Back Up Your Computer?
Over four and a half billion people in the global population use the internet. That’s a staggering amount of data at risk of being lost or stolen. You probably already know you should back up your computer. Maybe you’re just unsure which way works best for you.
You can become proactive in securing your data with confidence. Keep reading for information to help you formulate a plan to safely back up your computer.
Should You Back Up Your Computer
There are many reasons why computer data can be lost. Accidental deletion or damage to the device can cause data loss. Information on a computer can also disappear to cybercrime.
The result is the same no matter how the data gets removed. Losing important information is stressful. Missing data also leads to wasting significant time and money restoring it. Backing up your computer is, therefore, not an option but a necessity.
How Data Is Lost
Data can be lost due to unforeseen occurrences. For example, you drop the computer, it gets splashed with water, or it gets damaged some other way. Corrupted data or another problem can also cause the hard drive to crash and prevent access to it. Either of these scenarios can wipe out your data.
Other reasons for data loss are not so innocent. Someone might steal or deliberately damage your device. You might become a victim of ransomware or another malicious virus that destroys your computer system. The result is that your essential digital files are gone forever if they have not been backed up.
The good news is that you can decrease the chances of losing your data forever. You can access tools to back up the valuable data on your computer.
What You Should Back Up
Data that cannot be replaced should be the main priority when you back up your computer. This information consists of personal files such as private documents, family photos, and videos. You should also back up your favorite music and movies, as they take a lot of time to replace.
You can also update your programs, settings, and operating system. These files can be recovered if data is lost. However, you will save time and energy if you have backed them up in advance.
You likely back up your personal information and documents already. However, there might be other data that needs to be copied. You should back up files that you use often. You can find examples of this kind of this data below.
Many people take a lot of time to create and organize their browser bookmarks. Clicking one link to land on frequently visited websites is a time-saving convenience. One incident could erase all of that hard work. Most browsers offer built-in backup tools at no cost to make it easy to recover your favorites.
Your social media account information is not stored on your computer, but you will lose all the data you uploaded if the network has a catastrophic data loss. You should make a backup copy of your account for your records. You won’t have to remember all of your posts and connections when the network is restored.
Web-based client email systems like Outlook and Gmail store their data in the cloud for security reasons. However, even large companies can fall victim to outages and hacks. That’s why it’s useful to make a backup copy of your essential messages. Third-party and client software are readily available to use with most email providers.
Tools to Back Up Your Computer
You don’t have to be concerned that a computer backup is too hard for you to do. You have a choice of different easy-to-use tools for this task, so you’re sure to find a compatible backup technique. Take a look at some of the options below.
USB Flash Drive
Flash drives are portable, inexpensive, and easy to use. You can quickly transfer your files to the drive and take them with you. One disadvantage of flash drives is they are easier to lose or get stolen because of their small size.
External Hard Drive
An external hard drive is an affordable option that is not difficult to use. It offers more storage than a flash drive. You can leave the drive connected to your PC and schedule regular backups. The drawback with a hard drive is that it can be stolen along with your computer, and old models get obsolete quickly.
With cloud storage, you can keep a copy of your files without using a physical device. Your files are encrypted and stored on online servers. You can access them at any time using the internet. Cloud storage is fast and is considered reliable.
How Often Should You Back Up Your Computer
The next step in a backup plan is deciding how often you should save your data. The frequency will be unique to the way you use your device. There are several factors to consider when you make this decision.
Generally, people who use their computers for work and business back up their data more often. Losing files or vital information negatively impacts their finances. There is less urgency if the computer is used to play games or for other entertainment purposes. However, the device should also be backed up, as it is still vulnerable to data loss.
The only mistake you can make on this issue is to not back up your data at all. Some people back up their computers every day. Others schedule a weekly or monthly backup. In short, you should back up your computer any time you add something you don’t want to lose.
Backup in Action
Leaving your backup file drive near your computer is not a good idea. Your computer data can be lost if there is a fire, flood, or break-in at your home. The most effective way to back up your computer data is to use multiple methods. This approach is called offsite and onsite backup.
You should save your important files in three places. For instance, you can save two copies on separate external hard drives. Your third copy is saved in the cloud. Or you can store one copy on your computer and the other two on different external drives.
Onsite and offsite backups do not guarantee the safety of your data. But all of your important data is less likely to be destroyed if it is stored in multiple locations.
Stick to Your Backup Plan
Data breaches and other computer issues will increase as more people use the internet. A hard drive crash, virus, or another catastrophe can wipe out a lifetime’s worth of important data. Backing up the data on your computer should become a lifelong habit.
Unfortunately, most computer users don’t think about backing up their computer until the worst happens. Your backup plan positions you to avoid this outcome.
The information you’ve read should help you create an effective computer backup plan. Make a schedule to back up your computer and commit to sticking to it. The peace of mind you get knowing that you have a contingency plan is well worth the effort.