Why Should You Backup Your Data?

by Jeremy Miller,Technician
Even though it’s common knowledge, I thought I’d offer a quick refresher on data backup and why it is important.

What is a data backup?
A data backup is a copy of your data stored in a different location. This can be as simple as copying a document or picture to an external drive or disk.

It could also be a copy of your entire operating system, so if your system crashes you could recover it relatively quickly. Backups are usually not stored on the same location as the primary data.

Why should you backup your data?
You should always backup your data to at least one external source. It is best practice to have at least one on-site backup and one off-site backup.

You never know when a catastrophic event will take place. There are a number of things that can corrupt your data to the point of needing recovery.

For example, you could corrupt a file from losing power, or selecting cut instead of copy when moving files and the process errors out.

If you have files that cannot be replaced such as photos or emails that you have saved, and they become corrupt, the only way to guarantee recovery would be to have backup copies of these files in a different location.

The different location is one of the most important parts of backing up data. The reason is because if the drive your original data is on fails, and your backups are stored on the same drive there is a good chance you will not be able to recover your backups either.

If you are constantly making changes or installing and removing software then taking a backup image of your PC during a known-good configuration would be a great option.

You could set up your PC with a fresh-install of your operating system of choice that is up-to-date and just the way you like it.

Then you could take an image backup of the instance that way if you want to recover to that state it will only take the effort and time to load the image. There will be no hunting for drivers or remembering settings for printers, it will be easy to just load and go.

What is the best backup option?
Choosing the right backup is based on the kind of data you need to backup and how often it needs to be protected.

You must decide if you only need to backup some files, most files, all files, or the entire operating system.

Then you must decide how much money you want to spend on your backup solution. You must also decide where you want to store your backups such as an external hard drive or using a cloud storage service.

We offer Experts Total Backup, a cloud-based off-site storage system that’s rock solid and secure. It operates entirely in the background, encrypting your files and replicating them to an off-site storage system.

In conclusion if you have data that you cannot or do not want to lose then you must backup your data. This is the only way to guarantee that you do not lose any data. Once you have these backups you must test and safeguard them.

Keep a few copies so that if one backup gets damaged you have more to fall back on. Testing your backups is a great way to know that you will be able to restore from your backed up data.