Have you ever had a panic phone call from a friend or college saying that their computer has died and they have lost all their work?
Or perhaps YOU are the person who calls people asking for help? If your work machine was stolen or your personal computer was destroyed in a flood would you have all your files that you need/care about? There is one thing that can save you in both these scenarios and it's really simple… backups.
There are two factors that you need to take into account for you backups.
Frequency and location.
The frequency depends on how often your data is changing, and how valuable your data is to you. Are you working for a company with 10 employees who are all creating/editing files daily? Or are you a student in the middle of your largest assignment for the year? What would you do if you couldn’t access those files the next day? What would it cost you if you couldn’t access these files? 10 employees with an 8 hour day even with the minimum wage is going to cost you a lot. One student with an assignment worth 40% of the years marks… You get the point. Ask yourself a few questions like these and if any of these questions make you a little uneasy, then don’t take the risk. Backup your files every day! If you think that your files aren’t that important or you could easily recreate then them maybe you don’t need to backup daily… but that’s up to you. For the sake of a few minutes I would do it.
The location is very important when considering your backups. Do you run a backup every night and leave the backup drive sitting on top of your desk beside the computer you took it from? This will save you if the computer stops working but what if your office/home had a fire. What would happen to your files or your precious family photos then? Every backup should be taken away from the location it came from. Give it to your mum, your neighbour, maybe take your work home or your home life to work. Just don’t leave it in the same location.
There is a simple thing to do to make sure that you are covered. Make sure you have 3 different copies.
- Take one backup off site for safe keeping
- Keep one backup on site for easy retrieval
- Keep one copy on the machine you use daily
Ok so you have the plan sorted… Now you just have to do it. You choose the software, paid or free it doesn’t matter. Just get it done.