Happy World Backup Day!
Never heard of it? Don’t worry, you’re probably not alone. World backup day is slowly gaining popularity. There is no surprise of its ever-increasing popularity considering the amount of data that gets lost or corrupted each year. We are sure you’ve lost an important document or file at some point in your life.
Well, fortunately for you we’ve come up with this handy guide on how and why you should regularly backup your data!
What Is Data Backup?
Data backup is the process of making extra copies of all of your important data such as documents, photos and so on and storing them somewhere secure in case the originals ever get lost or damaged. For an even more secure backup, make three copies of your files in case your first two ever malfunction.
Why Should You Backup Your Data?
Everyone should take the time to back up their data because you never really know when your computer could crash, your phone get stolen, or you accidentally delete a file and lose it forever. By creating another copy of all your important data you never have to worry about it getting lost or being destroyed.
Eye-opening facts from worldbackupday.com:
- 30% of people have never backup up their files!
- 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute
- 29% of disasters are caused by accident
- 1 in 10 computers are infected with viruses each month
How To Backup Your Data?
Backing up your data is neither as hard or time consuming as you may think. But most importantly, it can save you from a lot of stress and heartache in the future if your files are ever compromised. First, you need to decide whether you want to back up your data online or to an external drive. (It is strongly recommended to start backing up to an external drive then make another copy online).
Backing up to an External/USB Drive
You will need: an external hard drive, storage size will depend on the amount of information and data you are backing up. Common options range from 8GB (gigabytes – light storage) to 6TB (terabytes – heavy storage).
Follow these steps to tell your computer start backing up your work automatically every hour:
- Plug your drive or its cable into your USB port.
- Click the pop-up notification that says, Tap to choose what happens with removable drives.
- Select the Configure this Drive for Backup option; when the File History window appears, click the Turn On button.
- Open the Control Panel.
- Select the System and Security category and click File History.
- If you need to switch the drive, click the Select Drive link from the window’s left side and select a different drive.
- Click the Turn On button.
- Set up Time Machine. (Time Machine is the built-in backup feature of OS X.)
- When you connect an external hard drive directly to your Mac, you might be asked if you want to use the drive to back up with Time Machine. Click “Use as Backup Disk.”
If Time Machine doesn’t ask you to choose a backup disk:
- Open Time Machine preferences from the Time Machine menu in the menu bar. Or choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Time Machine.
- Click Select Backup Disk.
- Select an external hard drive, Time Capsule, or other storage solution from the list, then click Use Disk.
- After you choose a backup disk, optionally click “Add or Remove Backup Disk” to add more backup disks for extra security and convenience.
After you set up Time Machine, it automatically makes hourly backups for the past 24 hours, daily backups for the past month, and weekly backups for all previous months. The oldest backups are deleted when your backup drive is full.
Backing up online
Although you shouldn’t backup your entire hard drive onto a cloud-storage service, you can use these services to preserve your important files. There are a number of different cloud-storage services you can choose from, some free, some paid. A few notable ones to look into include:
- Google Drive (15GB Free)
- Dropbox (2GB Free)
- OneDrive (5GB Free)
- SugarSync (5GB Free)
Once you’ve signed up for an online storage website, simply start uploading all of your important files. The benefit of storing online is that you can access it from any computer, anytime. You can also easily share and collaborate with others. There are also options to pay for more storage if the amount of free storage offered is not enough.
What You Should Back Up
Ultimately you should backup all of the files that are important to you and that are irreplaceable. If you still don’t know where to start, take a look at the following areas according to a MakeUseOf article:
This will include things you’ve created such as documents and things that you have purchased such as music and movies. So check your Documents, Pictures and Videos folders. Setting it up so that these folders are automatically backed up as a whole rather than picking and choosing files is ideal.
If you are in the habit of saving all of your projects that you are currently working on onto your desktop, this is another place you should be sure to back up. This way, you don’t have to worry about losing these projects and having to start from scratch and losing valuable time.
Don’t forget about all of the bookmarks and favorites in your browsers. Often we collect these over a large amount of time and don’t want to lose these so it’s a good idea to keep a second copy. Additionally, you probably have quite a few extensions and other browser settings you wouldn’t want to manually install once more.
Backing up e-mails is often overlooked, but it’s a good idea to keep backups of your e-mails for your personal records especially any important business e-mails or receipts.