Dont leave it until its too late.
Are you one of the many people who still goes through your digital life without a backup routine in place? In today's fast paced digital world, backing up your data files, photos, music, videos and documents is very important. Accidental deletion, hard drive failure, theft and even a natural disaster can lead to loss of your important and irreplaceable data. Even your iPhone or Android device should be backed up on a regular basis in case of an accident, or phone failure.
In information technology, a backup, or the process of backing up, refers to the copying and archiving of computer data (photos, videos, documents etc.) so it may be used to restore the original after a data loss event, which could be caused by hard drive failure or even something like ransomeware attack.
There is no excuse not to back up your important data, there are many options available. You can back up your computer, Mac, iPhone or Android device to any of the options below.
- CD, DVDs or Blu-Ray disks.
- Extra internal hard drive (clone)
- External hard drive or NAS
- Online Cloud back up service
Lets start with the obvious: what do you need back up? Well, first and foremost, you need to back up your personal files. You can always reinstall your operating system, then you can reinstall or download your programs if your hard drive fails, but your own personal data on that drive is irreplaceable.
Always remember to backup your mobile devices in case of mobile or software failure. You would be surprised of how many personal photos, documents, home videos and other data is on your system, these should always be backed up as they can never be replaced, and can be quite heart-breaking to lose.
You can back up just your personal files, but with the price of backup software, and drives being affordable to everyone, it is also a good idea to back up your operating system, programs and all other settings automatically. You don’t have to back them up, necessarily, but it can make your life easier if your entire hard drive is backed up with all software and settings.
One of the ever growing threats to your data and personal files is ransomware, this is a type of malicious software designed to block access to your system until you pay a sum of money. You should never pay, as more often than not you will still not retrieve the locked files. If you have backed up your system you can just wipe your drive and reinstall without paying the ransom.
Before you back up your system
- Always scan your system for viruses and malware.
- Make sure your software is all up to date and any security patches installed.
- Run a program like iolo System Mechanic or Wise Care 365 to remove any obsolete and junk files before a backup. Can help save time and space. You will be surprised how much space junk files on your system takes up.
It is always a good idea to make sure you have multiple backups at all times, and those copies should be in more than one physical location, like at a family members place, as well as a copy at your own. Whether you decide to store your backups locally, or online you need to make sure its secure. Some users are wary because of the amount of hacks online.
If you are going for a full backup, set up for automatic, incremental backups. This will save you disk space and decreases the amount of time each backup runs.
You may also find it useful to do a personal file and photo backup in case you need to recover a few files and not entire system.
Conclusion: With the price of backup software and hardware being relatively cheap, it is always in your best interests to do a full backup. You could also think about backing up your mobile phone to your PC or Mac before you do a full back up so that you also have that backed up too.