You might not realize how vulnerable your midterm thesis or your vacation photos are until your notebook crashes and they’re wiped from your machine forever. The same goes for those important work files you’ve been saving to your hard drive, but not backing up. A hard disk drive crash, which is still a risk for all computer users, can destroy years of files and important data.
Fortunately, there’s a simple step to preventing this-store your files in multiple locations by backing them up. Backing up data regularly ensures that personal documents, photos, and important work files are secure in the event of a technology meltdown.
Why You Need to Backup Your Data
Computers are man maid machines, and like all things made from man’s hands, they will eventually fail. Beside the eventual failure of your computer’s hard disk drive, if you use it long enough to reach its ‘end of life’, there are other events that can have devastating effects on your computer data. Here are a few of the more common scenarios:
Hard disk drive failure – still the number on reason for backing up your important computer files. Hard disk drives life expectancy had increased greatly from the early years, when a disk would fail after only few years. Though they last longer now, if you keep your computer long enough, they will eventually die a horrible death. When it happens, protect yourself by having a good backup of your data.
File and data corruption – this is still a common occurrence and though it usually only affects a portion of your data or particular types of files, you can keep on cruising with no worries if you have a backup ready to roll out.
Your data is lost or stolen – with the enormous increase in the use of mobile computing technologies, the increase in loss and/or theft of personal mobile computers such as laptops, tablets, and smart phones, have followed. Most home and auto burglaries that occur today involve the theft of computers, including even desktop home computers. The best way to protect against data lost due to left of loss is to have current backups available to restore your data from.
Malware infection – computer malware and viruses exist today with the express purpose in design to take control of your computer files by encrypting them, so that you can no longer read or use the files until you pay the malware owner a fee to unencrypt or release your files. This malware is called ‘ransom ware’ because you must pay a ‘ransom’ to free you files from encryption prison. Aside from doing everything you can to avoid getting infected with ransom ware in the first place, the best way to recover from this type of infection is to have a current backup on hand. Then you can tell the file kidnappers to bark up another victims tree.
Data Backup Options
All computer users, from home users to professional information security officers, should back up the critical data they have on their desktops, laptops, servers, and even mobile devices to protect it from loss or corruption. Saving just one backup file may not be enough to safeguard your information.
To increase your chances of recovering lost or corrupted data, follow the 3-2-1 rule:
3 – Keep 3 copies of any important file: 1 primary and 2 backups.
2 – Keep the files on 2 different media types to protect against different types of hazards.
1 – Store 1 copy offsite (e.g., outside your home or business facility).
For a summary of the pros, cons, and security considerations of backup options for critical personal and business data, click here: Data Backup Options