Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Why Backup?

I want to talk to you about backups and their importance in today’s digital world. There are plenty of choices of software and hardware that will do the job as well as cloud services. Let’s dive in.

I still get asked the question “why backup”? Why would you not backup is what I ask. There are no guarantees that your computer will last forever and now with all the malicious bugs roaming the Internet the chances have only increased that you will have a problem. The question is no longer “if” you get infected; it is now a question of “when”.

External hard drives are good for backups. However, the potential for failure is greater than, say, cloud backups because this is a piece of hardware, after all and therefore capable of the same mishaps of mis-managed computer equipment. You must run diagnostics and maintenance on the backup drive to ensure that the hardware is in top shape and preserving your data. Also, if you choose this method, I recommend that you connect the device, run your backup and then disconnect it from the computer. If you have an unknown virus on the computer, you do not want it to affix itself to your backup drive infecting it.

Cloud backups are quickly becoming the popular trend in data backup and for obvious reasons. When you do online backups through a service, you set some parameters like time and what you want backed up and forget about it. Your data is backed up onto servers that are maintained, kept safe from viruses and ready when you are for recovery if necessary. You are putting your data into someone else’s trust and many of these companies do a very good job at cloud backup. This has become my method of backup with a twist. I manually control my backups to the cloud then delete everything from my computer. If my computer is compromised, hackers will be disappointed in their findings.

The best defense against Ransomware is a good backup. It pains me the amount of people I know who still do not have a backup plan. Your most important documents and precious memories are extremely important to you. Make a conscious effort to choose a method of backup and stick with it. You’ll be better off if disaster strikes!