backup

The Importance of Backing Up Your Data

Imagine one day, out of the blue, your computer fails catastrophically. It won’t boot at all. You take it to a repair shop, but they tell you the hard drive is fried. You’ve permanently lost all your data, including important documents, project files, family photos, programs, music files and videos. Your only option is to get a new computer or hard drive and start all over again with none of those precious files.

Now imagine the same failure with a recent data backup. When your computer won’t turn on, you take it to the repair shop, and they offer to replace the hard drive. With the new hard drive, your computer is as good as new. You download the copies of your precious files from the cloud or the external device where you backed them up, and your computer is exactly as it was before.

Many people underestimate the importance of data backup, or the inconvenience of losing all their personal files and data. Without a backup somewhere, you risk losing that data forever. Even if you think your computer is safe, a tragedy can strike at any time. The following risk factors represent a constant threat to your data.

Malware

Malware is a broad category of malicious programs, including viruses, spyware and adware that can threaten your computer and data. Depending on the severity of your computers infection, data can be stolen, deleted or rendered inaccessible, or your entire computer can become unusable. The right data backup software can restore your computer to a time before it was infected.

Theft

Computers are sought after by thieves and cannot always be kept secure whilst travelling.

The bottom line is that if you value what’s kept on your computer, it’s wise to take steps to protect your information from sudden loss.  Work can be redone, but the loss of cherished files like family and travel photos is permanent.

Many users regularly back up their files to their computer hard drive, but in the event of a total computer breakdown this will not protect the information.  Saving data to a separate location makes far more sense, and can be easily done if you have an external hard drive, or a large-capacity pen drive to back up onto.

However, this method is only as secure as the device you’re backing up to. When saving your files on physical devices, your backup device needs to be kept in a different location than your computer, and can in turn fall victim to damage or loss. In addition, despite your best intentions, you may forget to copy your files as often as you should, leaving a large amount of recent work unprotected.

A safer and more effective method of securing files is online backup. Files stored online are safe from damage your computer, and if something goes wrong with your machine you will still have remote access to your information from any computer with internet access. This means files can be quickly and easily restored to your computer from a secure online server.

Human Error

Data loss is not always maliciously caused by others. You might accidentally delete or change an important file by accident. Having a backup can save a file from a tragic mistake.

Physical Damage

Physical damage can come from a variety of sources. A disaster, an accident or just simple wear and tear over time can wreak havoc on your computer. If you have a laptop, all you have to do is drop it and it may refuse to start up, requiring expensive repairs. If your data is backed up, you can easily move it all to a new device.

Sudden, Catastrophic Failure

This is the risk no one sees coming. A computer can fail catastrophically at any time for seemingly no reason. The only way to be sure your data is safe is to back it up.

Any one of these risk factors can strike at any time, putting your important and personal files in jeopardy. Remember to back up your data regularly.

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