As March 31st is World Backup Day (who decides these things?) it is time for my annual post about backups.
Computers, hard drives and other storage media can and do fail. It is more a question of when they will fail than if they will fail. Thus, it is essential that you have a viable backup plan.
Here are some recommendations:
- Set up an automated backup system with an external hard drive or other storage device (both Windows and Mac come with rudimentary backup programs that will do the job)
- Ideally you will use multiple hard drives and rotate between them so you do not have a single point of failure. Keep one of those hard drives in a different physical location than your main backup. In my case I keep one hard drive at home and one at the office.
- Keep both incremental backups (which allow you to return to multiple previous versions) and a clone of your hard drive (which allows you to return to work very quickly).
- I also use cloud based storage for crucial files. I use Dropbox but there are many different options out there. I also use box and iCloud but have found Dropbox to be the most seamless and robust of the solutions. If you would like to try Dropbox you can sign up and get a small amount of space for FREE with the use of this link. FULL DISCLOSURE: I will also get extra space if you use this link so you may want to consider asking for a referral link from family and friends.
- The World Backup Day site has a variety of deals on software and hardware for your backup needs.
Use which ever system works for you, but for your own sake, please don’t rely on a single copy of your data. Backup. Backup. Backup.