A New Year’s resolution to regularly back up your computer helps keep your valuable data safe and brings you peace of mind all year long.
These days, so much of our lives are on our computers – term papers, tax documents, family photos, favorite songs. That can leave a lot of information at risk, unless you take the time to back it up on another device or service. Don’t think you need to bother? Below are 5 scenarios that could happen to your computer and very real reasons to back up the data on your computer:
Your computer could:
- Get stolen
- Be destroyed or damaged in a fire
- Get damaged by water
- Fail, due to a virus or other reason
- Experience “human error” – you accidentally trash important information
Regardless of which issue you face, your data and information would be gone, unless you had backed it up. Two of the most common methods of backing up a computer are using a cloud backup service or an external hard drive. You may want to use one or both to make sure your information is available, no matter what.
How to use a cloud backup service
Even though cloud storage services are still relatively new, many people like the access and security they provide. Cloud storage allows you to easily transfer files from your computer to a web-based service, which stores them on an off-site database. These services use encryption and authentication to keep your data safe and secure.
If you’re backing up lots of data, there may be a monthly or annual fee for your data storage service. Key benefits are the ability to access your files from anywhere, and having it stored redundantly by the service provider. But if you often find yourself in areas with unreliable or low-bandwidth internet connections, and can’t risk that upload/download difficulty, hard drives are a convenient solution.
How to use a hard drive to back up your data
You can purchase a hard drive at most retailers. They are typically small, self-contained storage units. Some come with extra protection features such as a fireproof or waterproof casing and offer a variety of quality options. By connecting it to your computer, you can easily transfer data using either Mac OS X or Windows, on a daily, weekly, monthly or random basis.
Examples of brands: Seagate, Western Digital, LaCie, CalDigit, Toshiba
Hard drive users should investigate and demo dedicated backup software such as Acronis True Image 2021 for Windows and Carbon Copy Cloner for Mac OS. These programs offer deeper customization and greater convenience than the default operating system solutions like Apple’s Time Machine.
You can’t be too careful when protecting your valuable digital information. Combining cloud backup and hard drive backup strategies is the smartest way to Be Sure, keeping your treasured information safe and accessible.