A common data nightmare that’s experienced around the world is thinking all your files are backing up automatically. Then a computer crashes or a device is stolen, and you find out your backup has been stalled for months.
Data loss can result in digital family memories or sensitive personal or work files being gone forever. And these days, often there may not be a printed copy of those treasured files, only digital.
While many services like iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive offer a way to backup cherished images and other important files automatically, they’re often space limited. And if there’s a glitch after an operating system update, you might think everything’s being saved, then find out later it’s not.
Our Backup & Recovery
Team at Pro Tech Guy is often called out to help find and restore documents that may have gone missing. We also help to ensure backups are done correctly before operating system updates or if a computer needs a full reset to factory restore condition.
Technology has made it easier for more people to either telecommute or freelance from home, so many times those home computer files are not just personal photos or other family files. Home computer files are often work related and backing them up properly is as important as it is for any business.
Are you positive your data is being backed up correctly in case of a computer disaster? Read on to learn about different types of backups and the 7 ways you can make sure you’re backing up the right way.
What Are the Main Ways to Back Up a Computer?
There are lots more options for backing up your data than there used to be just 10-15 years ago. You can choose a local backup or a cloud-based one, and then have multiple sub-options in each group.
But no matter which backup method you choose, it’s important to make sure you’re backing up your data regularly… or it could cost you.
The average cost of a lost data file is $148.
In a study by
the Ponemon Institute, they estimated the cost of a lost or stolen file that contains sensitive and confidential information to be an average of $148.00 per record. But many files are priceless if they can’t be replaced.
Main Backup Options for Computers & Devices:
Local backup means the storage of your backup files is done in the same place your computer resides. Here are the different methods of a local backup.
- External Hard Drive
- Portable External Hard Drive
- Solid State Drive (SSD)
- Network Attached Storage (NAS)
- DVD or USB Drive
Pros include that you have direct access to your backup files when you need them.
Cons include that if there is a fire or natural disaster, your main computer and the backup might both be damaged.
Cloud backup means the storage of your backup files is on a server in another location owned by the cloud service. There are multiple different cloud storage services, here are a few of the most popular.
- Google Drive
- Just Cloud
Pros include that your files are safety offsite and can be accessed from any device when you need them.
Cons include that you need an internet connection for the backup to work and for access to your files.
Ensure You’re Backing Up Correctly with Our 7 tips
Once you’ve chosen the backup method of choice, you’ll want to make sure you’re following these 7 tips to ensure your backups are going smoothly at all times.
1. Backup the Right File Folders
We’ve worked with customers who never double checked the files being included in their backup, only to be devastated later when they realized they left out an important folder.
When you set your backup parameters, make sure you know which files are being included and which aren’t. It’s a good idea to just include everything if you can.
2. Automation is Your Friend
Life gets busy and it’s easy to forget to do a backup if you are doing it manually. Save yourself the hassle by choosing a backup method that backs up everything automatically. Cloud backups typically offer this option and you can also set it up with a hard drive or SSD using a tool similar to Apple’s Time Machine.
3. Organize Before You Backup
Do you tend to save your things everywhere on your computer and rely on “Recent Items” to find something you need? If so, it’s a good idea to organize your files into folders that make sense to you before you start your backup. This will help “future you” find files years later in case you need to recover your backup.
4. Use a Dual Method
One backup’s great, two are even better! If you like the convenience and safety of a cloud backup, but also like having your files where you can grab them at a moment’s notice, back up using both methods and double your security.
5. Check In Regularly
When is the last time you looked at your automated backup to see how it was going? Have you reopened a backed up file to make sure the files are copying correctly? It’s easy to think all systems are “go” once you click “backup”, but things can go awry. Your backup can get stuck or run out of space. Be sure to check in on it regularly to make sure there are no problems.
6. Set Regular Backup Intervals
You might think that backing up once a week is okay for your home computer. But what happens if you’ve been working on a client project from home for a few days and your computer crashes? That’s hours of work down the drain if you can’t recover what’s on your hard drive and don’t have a backup. Backing up daily or automatically whenever a file change occurs are the safest intervals.
7. Don’t Forget Your Tablet or Smartphone
We are all doing more on our mobile devices and that’s the first place we typically capture treasured memories or download eBooks. Make sure any backup plan includes your mobile devices as well, so all your bases are covered.
Need Some Help with a Good Backup Plan? Call Pro Tech Guy!
We’ve worked with every type of backup method out there and if you need some advice on your perfect backup tool, we’re here for you!
Give us a call anytime at 508-364-8189 or