World Backup Day is the day we technology professionals remind you how important it is to back up your digital data.
As an IT and cyber security lecturer at TAFE Queensland, I tend to prompt my students to back up a lot more than once a year, but I'll take this annual opportunity to remind everyone else.
For most of us, our digital data is more valuable than the actual device it's stored on — whether you’re an individual with sentimental personal photos, a small business protecting customer records, or a large company with intellectual property.
You can always get a new computer or phone, but that video of your child taking their first steps or that essay you spent weeks preparing for your final assessment are rare and priceless.
The most known threats to our valued digital files are hardware failure, theft, and damage from fire, flood or malware attacks. So it's extremely important to not ‘put all your eggs in one basket'.
But before you start your ‘backup plan’ the following questions need to be considered.
What should I backup? – If you've never backed up before it can be daunting to know where to start. But the best thing to do is to organise all your files into folders and prioritise the most important ones to backup first.
Where should I backup to? – It's important to back up your files online as well as on external hardware such as a hard drive or memory card. Some great online platforms that provide very reasonable pricing include Microsoft, Dropbox, and Google Drive.
How many backups should I have? - Don't just have the original files and then only one copy, because then you're just one malware attack or hardware failure away from losing everything. You need multiple saved copies across various mediums. The right backup software enables you to keep multiple copies of backups. Some good ones are Windows native backup, ShadowProtect, and Veeam.
How frequently should I backup? - I recommend once a week, but it depends on your usage. For business and companies with significant information and high usage I recommend backing up daily.
As you can see, backing up is no small matter and you should always try and be on top of it. The best thing to do is to make it simple for yourself, because if it's an easy process you'll be likely do it more frequently.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to backup your files on this World Backup Day, 31 March 2020.