Don't be an April Fool. Backup your files and check your restores on March 31st.
It’s a familiar story: You sit in front of your home or work computer, ready to start that assignment and your files are gone. The hard drive where you stored your crucial files are missing, or corrupt, or have been attacked by a rogue virus. Calling your nearest technical expert, they ask the one question that fills you with dread:
“You backed up your files, right?”
Many of us assume that our files are safe, but even the most cautious individuals are not immune to catastrophic hardware failure, a malicious virus that the best virus scanners have not learned about yet, or simple human mistakes. This is the reason World Backup Day was created.
It’s estimated that the average value of data on a smartphone is worth $US14,000. Just imagine what that figure might be for your laptop, your desktop, your tablet, or all your devices combined.
World Backup Day, celebrated on March 31 every year, is our reminder to keep the millions of digital files, including important work documents, cherished videos and photos, or prized sources of entertainment, safe and secure. This is an important task no matter how many people you work with, whether you’re a home user, digital marketing agency, or run a heavy haulage company. Here are some basic ways to get started and earn yourself peace of mind the next time disaster strikes:
A Simple Guide to Backups
What is a Backup?
A backup is a second copy of all your important files – from your photos, contacts and videos to documents, files and emails – that you store separately from the original. Whether the originals are located on your desktop, laptop, or mobile devices, you keep a backup of everything somewhere safe.
It’s Never Been Cheaper
With the advent of affordable hard drives that plug into a USB port that continue to drop in price every year, it’s a great time to institute a small backup budget. Thanks to Moore’s Law, even spending $100 every World Backup Day on more hard drives will continue to double your backup storage capability every year, ensuring that you’re safely covered as your data needs increase. That’s a budget that accommodates the small start-up, digital marketing firm or large corporation well.
One is Not Enough
Even since the days of plastic floppy disks, computer users knew that just having one backup was a recipe for disaster. A good guide is to have three backup sources, with two of them nearby (on a removable thumb drive, for example) and one off-site.
Chances are your computer already has some handy tools to back up your files automatically. Windows 10 has the File History tool, which not just keeps a copy of your working files on an external hard drive, but also keeps multiple versions of files that get changed often over time – Word or Photoshop files, for example. Windows 10 also offers Backup and Restore, a way to keep a copy of not just your working files but everything that exists on your entire computer including programs and system settings. Mac OS users are similarly catered for in both these instances with its Time Machine system.
Take It to The Cloud
Cloud-based file storage systems such as Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive run in the background and synchronise your files with their online storage folders. Not only does this give you a reliable “off-site” backup, you can access these files on any other computer, phone or tablet you have access to. Many of these cloud-storage systems offer free plans for you to try out.
Backup Your Phone
It’s amazing to think about the number of essential files we store on our phone. The iPhone has the iCloud, which automatically stores your photos, music and movies on their cloud platform, and Android phones can use Google’s storage alternatives like Google Photos.
Everyone is at risk of losing data: the figures
- 1 in 10 computers infected with viruses each month
- 113 phones lost or stolen every minute
- 140,000 hard drive crashes each week in the United States alone
- 160,000 social media accounts are hacked daily
- 29% of disasters are caused by accident
- 30% of people have never backed up
- 32% lose data due to human error
- 40% cease operations within one year of a critical IT failure
- 44% of companies ravaged by a fire fail to ever reopen
- 80% of businesses close within three years of a major disaster
- 93% file for bankruptcy within 12 months if blocked from their data for 10+ days
- Every 10 seconds someone in the world is hit by ransomware
- The average value of data on a smartphone is worth $US14,000
- The world suffered $US330 billion in losses in 2017 due to natural disasters
This World Backup Day, take the World Backup Day Pledge. I will also tell my friends and family about World Backup Day – friends don't let friends go without a backup.
“I solemnly swear to backup my important documents and precious memories on March 31st.”
Take the pledge and tell your friends to back up their data. Go to worldbackupday.com for exclusive deals, offers and more information.