Having a backup of your data is crucial to avoid losing important files due to unexpected circumstances. There are numerous things that can cause data loss so it’s important to be prepared and regularly backup your data.
What Can Cause Data Loss
Unfortunately, computers aren’t indestructible. Liquid damage can cause all sorts of issues, as can damage caused by impact. Accidents can happen, a drink may spill on your laptop or you may accidentally drop your computer. If significant damage occurs and your device won’t power on, accessing your files isn’t going to be easy. You never know when accidents may happen so be prepared and create a backup of your data.
Loss or Theft
Even if your device is in perfect working order, nothing can prepare you for the nightmare of losing your computer and not having a backup of your files. If your laptop is stolen and you don’t have a backup, there is no way to retrieve your data. Be prepared for anything, no matter how unlikely a scenario may seem. If you have important information on your computer, make sure you have a backup.
Hard Drive Failure
No one wants to hear that their hard drive no longer works. The unfortunate reality is, hard drives can fail, making your data inaccessible. If you hard drive has failed, your computer is unlikely to boot, making it very difficult to retrieve your files. A failing hard drive can make your device run slow and sluggish. If you experience a decline in performance, backup your data straight away if you have not done so already.
Viruses and malware can cause all sorts of issues with your device. At worst case, your data can become corrupt, preventing you from accessing your own files. There are various things you can do to prevent viruses, but in the event that you do get a virus, a backup is essential to avoid losing access to any of your important information.
It is always advisable to create a backup when running any software upgrades. Updating a system can cause loss of data if the update fails or if any other issues occur during the process. If you haven’t created a backup you risk losing any important information stored on the device.
Accidentally Deleting Files
Human error is also a common factor that can result in loss of data. It may sound strange that you can accidentally delete an important file from your computer, but it can happen. Having a backup means that you still have access to the information in the unlikely event that you do accidentally delete a particular file or folder.
What Files Should You Backup
As a general rule, it is best to backup anything that is important to you. If you don’t want to lose it, back it up. It only takes a short amount of time to safeguard your information and it’s well worth it to avoid losing any of your files. You should regularly backup files, photos, music, documents… anything that is of significance. You can backup a select amount of important files or backup everything on your computer. It it advisable to have more than one backup so that your information is in more than one place.
How to Backup Your Data
There are numerous ways to backup your information, including physical storage devices and online cloud backups. Here are some popular backup options:
You won’t necessarily have enough memory accessible on a memory stick to back up your full system, but it’s a quick, easy, hassle free way to backup your important files. Still one of the simplest ways to backup data, a USB stick enables you to carry your information around in your pocket.
External Hard Drive
An external hard drive is a really simple way to backup, it really doesn’t take much time or effort. You can get hard drives that connect to your computer via USB, or wireless hard drives that you can leave out of the way in the corner of the room. SSD drives are generally faster and more reliable that a mechanical hard drive but both options provide a significant amount of storage.
There are many cloud backup services available which make data backup a very straightforward process. Google Drive, One Drive, iCloud and Drop Box are all popular options. Most cloud storage solutions offer a free plan with the option to upgrade to increase the amount of storage space available. You can backup to the cloud simply by dragging your files to the relevant folder on your computer. One of the main benefits of cloud storage is the ability to login and access your information from any computer, anywhere in the world. You can also sync your data across multiple devices. Having your data stored on a server as opposed to a physical storage device also reduces the risk of loss or damage.
Instead of physically copying your files to a storage device, you can automate the process. There are many tools available which will automatically backup your data. The ‘set and forget’ approach is a popular method because you don’t have to remember to backup manually.