You sit down at your computer, fire it up and prepare to finalize the most important presentation of your life. Just as you take your first sip of coffee: the unthinkable. The spinning circle of death shows up on your screen and is soon followed by an error message.
You’ve just lost your data.
There is perhaps no feeling worse than the pit in your stomach when you realize an important digital file has been lost to the ages. Fortunately, the feeling is preventable. Data backup means your files are retrievable from a secondary location when you lose the originals.
Here are five ways to back up your data and spare yourself from a future catastrophe.
Store Your Data in the Cloud
Cloud services are one of the most popular ways to backup data. When you keep a copy of your files on Google Drive, DropBox, or many of the other data storage services, you can access your data from both desktop and mobile devices. Your files can even be made available offline. Cloud storage with end-to-end encryption is both secure and reliable.
Use a Physical Hard Drive
You can also plug in a second physical hard drive to your computer to create a data backup. Choose “backup” when you’re setting up the external hard drive, and the drive will conduct regular backups in the background as you work.
Choosing a hard drive that is at least twice as big as your computer’s current drive helps you avoid running out of space.
Save Files to a USB Drive
USB drives, or flash drives, are the thumb-sized drives that quickly plug into the side of your machine. While they can’t store all of your programs, a USB drive can store hundreds of gigabytes of data.
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Manually backup important documents to your USB drive and keep it in a safe place. If your data goes kaput, you can plug the USB into any computer and access the backup copy.
Get a NAS Device
NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. As its name suggests, this device connects to your network and it can handle backup data for multiple computers.
Small businesses typically use this type of storage. NAS devices are safe and they can be scaled out, meaning you can add more storage space to your NAS if your network grows or your storage needs increase exponentially. Think of a NAS as a private cloud storage solution.
Send Yourself Copies
One of the most basic data backup tips is to manually send yourself copies of files over a secure email. While this method can’t be scaled and may not work for particularly sensitive data, it can be useful for things like PowerPoint presentations or mid-sized video files.
If you’re in between cloud services or your USB gets full, send yourself copies of vital docs so you have at least one backup copy.
Data Backup for Businesses
Backing up data is crucial for businesses and individuals alike. If you’re not familiar with how to handle storage platforms or you have a lot of data, an outsourced IT professional can take the reins and protect your precious information the right way.