If you own a computer, whether it’s a desktop computer or a laptop, you certainly have a lot of data stored on its hard drive. Maybe some of this data doesn’t really matter to you, but you know you have a lot of important files and folders you want to hold onto.
If your hard drive fails, or your computer gets infected by a virus or a ransomware, you could lose many of your precious files, or even all of them.
Since it’s better to be safe than to be sorry, you should consider backing up your computer at least once in awhile. When you regularly save your precious data on a storage media, you will not lose it if you ever have an issue with your computer.
Here is how to backup data in case something goes wrong with your computer.
1. Choose what you want to keep safe
You might not need to backup absolutely everything you have on your computer hard drive. After all, your operating system can be reinstalled, and you can download and reinstall the programs you use as well.
What you should consider backing up is your photos and your personal videos, the music you have purchased, important digital documents, and everything else that would be either difficult or impossible to replace if your hard drive failed. Depending on how many important files you have on your computer, backing up your most precious data could take you a lot of time.
2. Decide which backup method you want to use
There are different ways you can backup your data, so it’s up to you to choose how you want to proceed. An onsite backup means you have copies of your files stored at the same location where your computer is. An offsite backup, on the other hand, is kept in a different location, like an online server, for example.
Each method for how to backup data has pros and cons. There is no perfect way to backup your files, which is why you should consider doing at least two of the following things.
3. You can keep a few precious files on a USB thumb drive
If you have a few very precious files you want to keep in a safe location, you could copy them on a USB thumb drive. These tiny devices can’t be used to backup your whole computer, of course, but they work just fine for a few important files.
If you do store some files on a thumb drive or two, however, make sure you don’t lose them!
4. Consider creating a clone of your hard drive
An efficient way to backup all your files is to create a clone of your computer hard drive with a bootable backup. With this option, your primary hard drive will be copied on another hard drive, so if the primary one fails, your data will be safe.
Your clone will update itself regularly, so once you have it set up, you won’t have to think about it.
5. Backup your most important files on an external hard drive
If you don’t feel the need to backup everything you have on your hard drive, you could backup your most important files on an external hard drive. You can do this manually, or use the backup features of your computer to do it automatically.
If ever your computer hard drive fails, you will have a backup of all your important files on your external hard drive, and it will be easy to have access to them with another computer.
6. Use an online backup service
One of the downsides of thumb drives and external hard drives is that you can lose them, or they can get stolen. This is why offsite backup solutions from IT solutions providers make a lot of sense.
You can use an online backup service to keep your data safe. For a small monthly fee, the service will automatically backup your files on your online storage space, and you will be able to retrieve them if something goes wrong with your computer.
7. Store copies of your files in the cloud
The future of how to backup data is in cloud technology. If you don’t want to pay to use an online backup service with storage space, you should store copies of your important files on a free cloud storage service.
The files you choose to backup will be stored in the cloud, so if your hard drive fails or gets infected by a virus, your data will be safe.
8. Consider using more than one backup method
No matter which method you choose to backup your files, you will need to update your backup regularly if it won’t update itself automatically.
Don’t forget it’s safer to use at least one onsite backup method and one offsite one. It’s the only way to make sure you won’t lose any of your important files if the worst should happen.