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Happy World Backup Day: Everything You Need to Know About Backups

Calvince Nyawara
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This year, the 31st of March is World Backup Day. Having a day dedicated to one of technology’s best practices serves as a great reminder to back up your data.

 

While different technologies are advancing at a rapid rate, new computer and smartphone releases flooding the market every year, it’s easy to replace a broken or outdated device. However, what isn’t easy is replacing all memories stored in photos and videos, important documents, and application preferences.

 

Using backups, you can keep all of those things in a safe, secure place to make sure you never lose what’s important. Even if your device gets damaged beyond repair, you can rest easy knowing that your precious files are in-tact.

 

To celebrate World Backup Day, our article focuses on all aspects of backups. Learn what backups are, how to use them, and what risks it presents to not have backups in place.

 

So, what exactly is a backup?

 

In technical terms, a backup refers to a copy of an original piece of data. The original file and the copy are stored in two different places to avoid being lost or damaged at the same time. Using backups, you can easily replace damaged or missing files, as the backup data matches the original perfectly, yet won’t be harmed at the same time.

 

You might be asking yourself the question — why should I back up my data? A short quote might answer you: “Back up everything, if you only have one, you have none.”

 

Despite the ever-evolving technology of our times, disasters and unexpected events are still more common than you’d think. There’s a great risk involved in not backing up your files, for both individuals and businesses.

 

Risks of data loss & Why backups are important

 

Now that we’ve discussed what backups are, it’s time to understand how they’re crucial to all computer users. Looking at data collected from various news sources and analytic websites, it’s easy to see how events beyond your control can ruin your career and cause massive losses beyond materialism:

 

  • 30% of businesses that have a fire disaster go out of business within a year.
  • 60% of businesses that lose their data will shut down within 6 months of the disaster. (Source: 3rd Eye Advisory)
  • 93% of companies that lose their data center for 10 days or more file for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster.
  • 50% of businesses that find themselves without data management for 10 days or more file for bankruptcy immediately. (Source: National Archives & Records Administration in Washington)
  • 140,000 hard drives crash in the United States every week. (Source: Mozy Online Backup)
  • 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control.
  • According to an Accenture report, global losses from cybercrime is estimated to be $600 billion.
    World bacup day infographic

We hate to think about it, but it’s a harsh reality. Natural disasters, hacker attacks, and unexpected hardware errors can all occur to us any day. While all of these events bring devastating losses, most things can be replaced over time. However, lost data is near impossible to recover. That is if you’re not using backups.

 

Utilizing backups ensures that not everything is lost. As long as your backups are stored in a safe location, you can access them in the future and restore everything you had backed up.

 

Types of backups and how to create them

 

Backing up small files is as easy as attaching them to an email and sending it to yourself. However, ideally, you want to have large-scale automated backups stored in a more secure location than your ordinary email inbox or private messages sent to your own account.

 

In this section, you can find everything you need to know about backups and how to create them. Make sure to review each option and make an educated decision on what you roll with — every individual or business has unique needs, circumstances, and wants when it comes to something as serious as backing up data. Go with the option that’s good for you.

Online backup

Online backups are often referred to as cloud backups. When working with this type of service, you have all of your duplicated data stored by a different server provider, kept in a safe location accessible online.

 

Some popular providers you might have heard of are Google Drive, Dropbox, and Microsoft One Drive. All of these websites offer services to both individuals and businesses with or without fees.

 

Pros:

  • Since your backup data is stored offsite, it isn’t affected by disasters such as fires and floods.
  • Access backed up data from anywhere with a working internet connection.
  • Use your account across multiple devices, complete with data syncing.

Cons:

  • Internet speed plays a huge role in backup speed. With a less than ideal connection, it may take hours to completely back up large amounts of data.
  • Most providers put limitations on free storage space, locking additional space behind a paywall.
  • Privacy risks.

Local backup

This type of backup has become popular as it’s cost-effective and accessible to everyone regardless of technical skill level. To create local backups, simply connect an external drive to your computer and copy your data on it. Popular choices include portable drives, USB drives, and in some cases even DVD disks.

 

Some portable drives even support automation, working with features such as File History on Windows 10 or Time Machine on Mac. Lately, various companies have started to include dedicated backup software with external drives, which you can install on your device and have it back your files up for you on a regular basis. 

 

Pros:

  • Back up large amounts of data quickly, with minimal setup required.
  • No internet connection is necessary to back up your data or to access backed up items.
  • Cost-effective, enjoy large amounts of storage with one payment.
  • No privacy risks involved.

Cons:

  • You can only back up one device effectively.
  • Complicated to back up mobile devices.
  • External drive must be kept safe as it’s prone to getting damaged alongside the original data.

Network backup

Network-Attached Storage (NAS) server solutions have seen an increase in popularity as more and more people acquire the knowledge necessary to set them up and maintain them. These servers can work locally or even as a cloud solution, eliminating the need to spend extra money on services like Drive and Dropbox and making sure there’s no privacy risks involved in signing up with a company.

 

Pros:

    • Combines the speed and convenience of local backups with the safety of cloud-storage.
    • Reduced privacy risks.
    • Set up multiple servers in different locations.
    • Option for automatic backups.
    • Unlimited storage space — scale your server up as your data grows.
    • Having your own server has its benefits beyond backups.

Cons:

        • Setting up your server and maintaining it in the future requires extensive knowledge or hired help.
        • The initial costs come out to be higher than purchasing a single backup drive.

 

We hope that this article was able to show you the wonderful world of backups and teach you how you can start to handle your data more securely. Once again, we wish you a happy World Backup Day.

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