Imagine this. Your company has been working on a new, exciting concept for a flavored drink you will launch next quarter. A lot has been going on with prototypes and designs coming out at a constant rate. You have been holding daily meetings, preparing presentations, and doing all manner of research to ensure that your facts and figures are correct. There is a lot of data that you have been accumulating all this time on your laptop, and as of yesterday, you had the project near the finish, theoretically. Unfortunately, a new trending malware was released yesterday, and cyberspace is near ruined. Your files have been corrupted since you opened that email attachment at free Wi-Fi in a coffee shop last evening. Now, you have lost months of research and development and need something to prove that your company did any work this quarter. What would you do were this you?
Backups are copies of the information or data we deem essential for future uses. It is a reliable recovery plan for all your data and an extinction of data loss for your digital self. Whenever you back up information, a copy of it is saved on a different device which is physically and virtually far away on a separate continent. This means that you have the same information no matter where you are or what you do. Access to your backups can be over a network and, in other cases, when you do it on an external storage device, there with you at all times. SD cards, flash drives, external hard drives, and other storage devices must be kept physically safe and free from corruption. However, these tend to lose the integrity of the data over time, and this is one thing people have to be worried about when they employ these devices to back up their information.
Uses of Backups
Backups are essential for keeping your information safe and intact in the format you made it in the first place. If you had prepared a spreadsheet on your smartphone on the train ride to work, a backup would make the file available many years later. The backups are also helpful when you don’t have a smartphone. At the office, you can open a spreadsheet backup from a terminal at work thanks to cloud storage or whatever other method you use to keep your information backed up properly. The backups can also be reliable recovery mechanisms in case any additional copies get deleted, corrupted, or lost in any other way.
How to Back Up Your Data and Information
One can use several mechanisms to keep information and data backed up. Some are simple and free, while others are complicated and will cost you a monthly or annual fee that must be renewed. Let us review them in the following sections.
- Cloud Storage
This is one of the cheapest and most reliable forms of online data storage that are available. It requires a mobile app to keep your local data synced to the cloud, but some cloud storage providers provide web-based interfaces for uploading your data. Cloud storage is also secure, and the files are encrypted before upload, and all the while, they will be in the cloud. Encryption is essential for protecting information, and modern businesses and organizations that are aware of information security keep their information encrypted. Some of the available storage providers include:-
- Google Drive
Most have a free trial and quota you can use without paying and a paid quota that extends your storage beyond what you get with the free allocation.
- External Storage Devices
These include flash drives, SD cards, external hard drives, and any other devices you know of. You can carry these devices in your pocket or backpack when moving around, and when you need to transfer information within a small distance, such as within the same office, this is the storage mechanism you will require. They are efficient for backup in the short term but are usually only recommended for long-term information storage. Keeping them safe is also essential, and for a more secure backup on these devices, you should encrypt the data or keep the device password protected. This will keep out anyone snooping on your data or hackers trying to play with cyberspace.
- Email Attachment
This works if you have two email accounts, and the email service provider should not know. Send an email to your other address and attach the files you need to backup as an attachment. This will ensure that your files are safe no matter where you need them. You will open up your second email and access your backed-up files whenever you require to use them, such as making a presentation at a meeting in a foreign country. The convenience this brings to your professional life gets even greater thanks to emails that back up all your information.
- DIY Online Storage
This is a good challenge if you like to hack simple solutions together. DIY online storage means whipping up a flavor that matches your preferences, and all the tools and information you need can be found online. It will also be a good use of your time as you’ll not be limited to any methods or alternatives, meaning your solution will be much easier to use than something someone else hacked up for you, right? You can also learn a new programming language in the process which will be good for keeping your skills sharp and accurate.
Backups are always important for your information; as such, they should be made for the information you value. If you have a project you have been working on, for example, backups will ensure the progress of your project no matter what conditions or events get in the way. You can use many methods to back up your information, and in this post, we have gone through a few feasible, viable backup methods you can use. Some are simple, and others will need a bit of technical know-how to hack together. Hopefully, you will have fun backing up your information and accessing it from different devices.