Have you backed up your data lately? What would you do if you lost everything? Every single day files are lost, hard drives crash, computers are stolen, and viruses wreak havoc. World Backup Day was created to remind users like you to backup your data, so that when disaster strikes, you are prepared. There is nothing worse than having critical business files or irreplaceable family photos deleted or destroyed without having any way to recover them.
March 31st is World Backup Day 2017, so if you act now, you still have time to backup your files.
What is a Backup?
Let’s keep it simple. In its most basic form, a backup is simply a copy of your files stored on an alternative media device for the purpose of restoring your original files should a disaster strike. Rather than manually copying all of your files to a secondary location, many users prefer to use backup software to automate this process.
Backup software allows you to schedule your backups so that they run automatically based on a set schedule you have set up. They also allow you to save drive storage space, as your files are saved in a compressed format, thus reducing the overall size of your backup. Backup solutions generally support incremental and differential backups, in addition to full backups, allowing you to only backup files that have changed since your last backup. This backup technique increases the speed of your backups and reduces the storage space requirements, while allowing you to restore the most current version of your files.
Many backup software solutions also offer disaster recovery image backups. In contrast to file backups, which just backup your files, image backups take a snapshot of your hard drive allowing you to recover your entire system just as it was, including your operating system, applications, files, and your setting. The fastest way to get back up and running after a hard drive crash is to restore your system using a disaster recovery image backup. For more information, read our article on the differences between file and image backups.
Why Backup Your Files?
140,000 hard drives crash every week in the United States. Everyone has heard a story about a friend’s hard drive that tragically crashed the night before an important paper was due, or a family member who tragically lost thousands of pictures or memories due to a failed hard drive. The reality is, hard drives fail and data is lost every day. You can either be in the camp with those who protected their files by backing up their data, or you can fall into the camp of those who back up their data after experiencing a traumatic loss of irreplaceable files. With so many options to choose from, the decision should be easy. Just back that data up.
If that wasn’t enough of a reason to back up your data, and you are a small business, consider this:
- 74% of organizations have experienced data loss at the workplace.
- 32% of organizations that have lost data take several days to recover and 16% never recover.
- 70% of small businesses reported that a single loss in data could have a significant and costly impact on the business.
- $15,000 per day is the estimated impact a disruption in technology resources can have on a small to medium-sized business.
Signs of a Corrupted Hard Drive
Now that you understand the importance of computer backup, you should know the signs of a corrupt hard drive. Please do not wait until you see signs that your hard drive is corrupt to backup your data. That being said, if you see these warning signs and you have not done so already, please save yourself the frustration and immediately backup your data to prevent data loss.
- Irregular crashes that are increasing in frequency
- Error messages when performing simple tasks such as moving files
- Scrambled or changed files or folder names
- Extended wait times when opening files or folders
- Disappearing files or folders
- Audible grinding noise when your hard drive is retrieving information
Where to Backup Your Data
If you are looking to backup your data, the first thing you need to do is determine where you want to backup your data to. There are a variety of local and cloud backup options to choose from. While many users are enthusiastically embracing the cloud, best practices still calls for both local and offsite backup. We would recommend that if you are going to backup to the cloud, that you also keep a local backup of your data. Another option, would be to backup locally, and then sync your backup to the cloud.
How to Backup Your Data
For local backup, the first thing you need to do is purchase an external hard drive, thumb drive or NAS devices to back up your files to. Once you have purchased your backup device, just plug it into your computer. If you have not done so already, download backup software like NovaBACKUP and install the software.
Once you have installed your backup software, follow these step by step instructions to back up your files to your external hard drive using NovaBACKUP wizards.
If you would like to securely backup your backup in the cloud using free cloud storage from providers like Dropbox or OneDrive, read our post on how to backup your backup to cloud file sync services.