Backing up your data – and why it’s important!

Have you made a backup of your data? If not, it’s time for action as storing all your valuable information in one place runs the considerable risk of losing it!

Backing up your data is a simple process and one which can prevent the problems and distress that comes with the loss of important information – whether that be on a personal or business level.

Filed away

Think of a computer hard drive as a filing cabinet, a place where everything is stored. You may think it’s safe and secure, but it isn’t and if your hard drive dies it could mean the end of anything stored on it.

This scenario means losing photographs, customer information, music, applications, any data you deem important enough to be stored on your hard drive – which is why it’s vital to back it up and keep it in more than one place.

Steps you should take

Experts recommend the 3-2-1 rule when it comes to backing up data:

– Make three copies of your data.
– Two of these should be ‘local’, on different devices.
– One copy should be kept ‘off-site’.

In most cases this will mean that the original data will be stored on your computer, a backup will be kept on an external hard drive and the third on a cloud backup service or external hard drive stored in a separate location from the computer.

For home users, the easiest way to backup your data is:

– Go to Windows.
– Search for File History in the taskbar of system settings on your PC.
– Once you’re in the menu, click ‘Add a Drive’ and pick your external hard drive.
– Follow the prompts and your PC will back up every hour. Windows 10 has an automated tool to backup your device and files.

Five ways to backup your data

There are several things you can do to prevent the loss of your data, including:

– Use a USB stick – They are small, inexpensive and convenient. They can be used everywhere and being easy to carry means it’s simple to store data safely. The downside is they are also easy to lose or damage and should be encrypted in case of loss or theft.
– External hard drive – Again, our recommendation is that this should be encrypted in case of loss or theft. We always recommend having at least two hard drives.
– Network Attached Storage – A more robust way of backing up your data.
– Cloud storage – Another effective way of backing up data away from your computer.
– Printing – If you don’t have any of the above backup solutions in place, print out important documents. It may seem old-fashioned but it’s still an effective alternative.

Data backup plays an additional essential role for businesses. If your systems are compromised, hacked, or the data is held to ransom – having data in a separate, external location might just save the day!

For more information about backing up your data, call us on 01743 290588 or email katy@pcnetsolutions.co.uk