Imagine this, you have an important business presentation and your computer develops a technical problem a few hours to the meeting. Even worst is, if you have a thesis presentation and you lose your computer a few days to the big day. The agony, pain, and frustration of losing your data can be nerve wracking not to mention missed opportunities, penalties, and delays that can come with it. Fortunately, there is a way around this problem and backing up your data is the best place to start.
What is backup
The simple definition of backup is having an exact copy of your data stored in two different paces. The data can be in form of documents, music, photos, pieces of art, important fax among others. It is important to keep the data in different places and not in the same device. For instance, if your data is stored in your laptop or desktop, the other copy (backup) should not be kept in the same laptop or desktop otherwise if your experience an unfortunate event, like a computer crush you will end up losing both your data unless you use technology to avoid this.
Having a backup available can help you if your computer is suddenly crippled by a physical problem such as a fire or a flood, theft, or if you get attacked by malware or spyware or even a phishing scheme. Backups of your data can help you if you need your data before you have a chance to clean out malware or viruses.
Back up strategies.
Having understood what back up is, how to do it is another important concern. Depending on your data, you can choose one of the following backup methods:
This simply refers to CD’S, DVD, external drive, or flash disk to backup data. If your data is small in quantity, the external storage is ideal for you. One advantage of such devices is the convenience, affordability and ease with which they can be carried around and work with most computers. Thus, if you have a collaborative project, you can save the data on a flash disk and give it to others. The downside however is that they can be lost easily thus defeating the objective of data backup.
Bootable backup (clone)
One consideration while choosing a backup system is the ability to retrieve the data in a manner in which they were saved last. This implies that all the updates made to your data should be reflected in the backup system so that in case you retrieve the data, you will have the exact copy required. This is another major limitation associated with a manual backup system like use of CD’S since you have to manually update the files. A clone is defined as a complete copy of your computer’s main hard drive. Thus, if the computer dies, you can hook up this clone, reboot the computer from it, and immediately have access to all your data including software, configuration and even your computers settings in the exact form as they were before your computer died. Even if your computer dies in the middle of a meeting, a clone can really save the day. The major limitation of a clone is that it can make your computer slower.
This is one of the best ways to backup your data. Remember, for the clone and external drive backup mentioned above, your data is still at risk of loss, catastrophic event or even theft. Thus, you can avoid these problems by using a cloud backup system. All that is required to get started is to sign up and create an account, download the software and install or run it on your computer. Every time your computer is on or are connected to the internet, your data will be automatically stored by the software. Apart from being one of the most affordable and convenient ways to backup data, it also allows for automatic update to your data so that is you have a computer crush, you can get your data in the exact form that you last saved. Further, your data is encrypted so that no one else can read it even if they stole your computer. With cloud backup, your data is stored across many redundant computers and drives thus if you lose one computer, your data is still save. The main disadvantage is that it takes long to install the program sometimes even a week.
The importance of backing up your data can not be overemphasized. Use these strategies and avoid getting in situations that can cost you a lifetime opportunity.