Most of us use our computers to manipulate and work with data in some format. It could be something as simple as last week’s homework, something as personal as last month’s pictures from your trip to the Grand Canyon, or something as private last year’s tax returns. Regardless of what the data is, we all care about the personal stuff stored on our computers. And as with anything that we care about, we want to make sure that it’s kept safe and secure.
The best way to secure your data is to back it up. When in doubt, make a backup of your personal data, including pictures, music, documents, Internet favorites- anything that you wouldn’t want to lose. Backups can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but the most important thing is that the backup is there. The rule of thumb that we live by in the shop is, “Any data you care about is data you have at least two copies of.”
So why all the fuss about backups? Well, let’s say your laptop got dropped off the counter, or a nasty virus got into your system and wiped out all of your data. Without a recent backup, everything stored on that computer could potentially be gone for good. As computer repair techs, we see first-hand how easy it can be for a hard drive to crash or a bug to take out a system. One minute, you can be happily typing away at your computer, and the next minute- poof! Your personal data is gone off of that computer.
Now, this isn’t to say that today’s computers are inherently un-trustworthy, or that you should lie awake at night, twisting and turning at the thought of losing the contents of your hard drive. Instead, keep a solid, recent backup copy of the information that you care about, and rest easy knowing that you are safe and protected should anything happen to your computer system.
I know what you’re thinking: “Well, this is all well and good, but how do I make a backup?” As I mentioned before, backups come in a variety of flavors. Let’s take a brief look at the two main types of backups: local and offsite backups.
Local backups are copies of data that are stored on local storage devices, such as an external hard drive or thumb drive. Locally stored backups are low-cost, convenient, on-hand copies of your data. Backing up your data to an external drive is the fastest, easiest way to ensure your personal data is safe. However, local backups are not perfect solutions. If a fire of flood were to engulf your home or business, and the external drive containing your data backups was located in the same location as the rest of your affected systems, your backup would out the windows right along with the other computers. This is where an offsite backup comes into play.
Offsite data backups are stored, you guessed it- offsite. Many companies provide services that will automatically backup your data and store it safely in a secure, third-party location. These locations are held in what are known as data centers- high-tech, state-of-the-art buildings and rooms designed to hold sensitive electronic information and expensive computer equipment. Offsite backup companies provide a secure, reliable data backup solution. At Bits Bytes and Nibbles, we recommend the online data backup services of Backup Right to securely store your most valuable personal data.
Regardless of what you use your computer for, it’s essential to keep a second copy of your personal data as a backup. Feel free to contact us or come in to the shop to talk about your current backup solution with a Bits Bytes and Nibbles technician today.