March 31st is World Backup Day — Be Prepared
Today is World Backup Day. It’s a day of awareness of the importance of backing up your systems. Our world is lived in the digital plain. All of our most important data can be found inside hard drives and the all-knowing ‘cloud’. So what would you do if you lost EVERYTHING? No matter how safe we think our data is, things happen and you have to be prepared
WHAT IS A BACKUP?
A backup is a second, redundant copy of your important files and systems. Many people will think of backing up the files that can’t be replaced like family photos and home videos. I would take it a step or two further and make a complete backup of your entire system. Many modern computer operating systems will give you the option to make a disk image of your system, which is essentially a clone of your computer’s hard drive. For the ultimate backup option, I would recommend doing this. This, of course, can eat up storage space. My hard drive is 256 GB in size. Where do you have a place to store something that size? The most important part of a back up is making sure it’s stored somewhere other than your native hard drive. Because if your hard drive fails, you still lose the data.
Keep this in mind:
- 30% of people have never backed up
- 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute
- 29% of disasters are caused by accident
- 1 in 10 computers infected with viruses each month
*http://blog.backblaze.com/2013/06/27/the-survey-says-apathy-is-winning-2; https://www.lookout.com/resources/reports/mobile-lost-and-found 3 Safeware, 2001 4 ICSA Labs/TruSecure, 2002
HOW DO I BACKUP?
There is more than one way to backup your system. You can find a good system online — like Backblaze, a very inexpensive option for online cloud storage. They offer unlimited data with automatic monthly backups for only $5 per month or $50 per year. You even have the option to sign up for two years and save $25 ($95/ 2-year plan).
The other method is to invest in external storage like a USB hard drive. The important thing to remember is that you will need something that has more space than your computer does. For this, we recommend investing in a Drobo backup device. There are many types to choose from and we can recommend these systems based off of our personal experiences with both the hardware and support from Drobo. The biggest plus with a Drobo system is redundancy. Their systems incorporate multiple hard drives inside a single case. If one drive fails, your data is still safe on the remaining drives and you can simply replace the failed drive. Here are some links to the different types of Drobos available.
If a Drobo is just a bit too much for what you need, you can also simply pick up an external hard drive like the Western Digital MyBook External Hard Drive. They offer the security of a localized hard drive that is separate from your computer, but they do not provide a system for redundant backups like Drobo does.
Take advantage of this friendly reminder and make backups of all your important systems today. Don’t forget that your mobile phones and tablets count as systems that store data, too. Even if you have automatic backups set up, take the time to make sure that system is still in place and working and then make a manual backup. Protect your data and save yourself from heartache if your system fails.