Regularly backing up your computer’s data is a very vital habit to develop. Many people are surprised to hear this from a security blogger, but having a plan for the poorest case scenario should be a part of any security set-up. There are always hackers out there who are one step ahead of the game, and no matter how good your safety system is, there is always a risk that your PC will be infected with malware and your files will end up smashed.
Backing up your computer is not just a security concern however. Making it a habit will also guard you from the possibility of hardware failure, loss or theft, damage or accidental removal. If your computer isn’t securely backed up, you need to fix that ASAP. If something goes wrong, you’ll be glad you did.
What kinds of back up are available? You have lots of options when you’re backing up your computer: let’s take a tour.
Think about gage
First, you need to choose the scale of your back up. This can range from a mainly important project saved on a USB drive, to creating a copy of your whole computer. Since everyone should do periodic large-scale backups, that’s what we’re going to deal with through the rest of this article.
Even then, there are a few different options.
Hardware or the cloud?
Secondly, you need to choose where you’re going to stock this information. You have two basic options: on hardware or on the cloud. There are advantages or disadvantages to either, and a flawless security system would use both. After all, having secure extra copies will only rise your protection. In security terms, this is called redundancy, and it’s very significant.
External hard drives are getting increasingly cheaper, meaning you can get enough space to hold all of your data and then some. However, they’re still vulnerable to harm. If you plan to use an external hard drive to hold your back up, this guide on configuring automatic backups in Windows 7, 8 and 10 should give you all the information you need.
If you make sure to go with a secure provider, cloud back up can be the perfect choice. There is no risk that a physical object will become damaged, lost or outdated, and they can be used to synchronize data across devices. Online backup solutions have security as precedence and will always encrypt your information so that it cannot be accessed by hackers while it’s stored.
However, cloud back up services will usually bill you monthly, meaning that the one-time purchase of an external hard drive may be cheaper in the long run. They also force you to rely on an internet connection, which might affect your choice.
Some of the most reliable options include iDrive, CrashPlan, SpiderOak, Mozy and OpenDrive. Note that whenever you’re transporting sensitive data over the internet, you need to remember to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). VPNs were invented for remote workers, but are now put to multiple uses. At its core, a VPN creates a safe tunnel from the source of information to its destination, meaning that it will avert your information from getting hijacked on the way to its new home in the cloud. You can also use it to remove geo-blocking from websites such as Netflix or stay anonymous when torrenting. In general, a VPN will always help to keep you safe and prevent others from collecting your information. As a security aficionado, I highly recommend them!
Use local backups
Local backups cost nothing and don’t require any extra items. These are good for those cases where your hardware is undamaged, but your information gets lost.
Back up your information regularly and automatically. A good security system will always account for human error. Ideally, your back up system will work without relying on your memory. If you have a desktop computer, it’s pretty easy to leave your external hard drive plugged in, but if you have a laptop, your back up strategy may involve the cloud so you don’t have to remember to plug in a hard drive. Was this a wake-up call? Are you going to take the time to back up your computer ASAP, or are you already on top of it? Let us know in the comment box below! 🙂