Remember in the early 2000s when you’d take photos with a digital camera during summer vacation, only to lose all of those photos forever when you inevitably misplaced that tiny, pesky, SD card? (Thank goodness we have the Cloud now to auto-upload our pics!)
Losing all of your data is kind of like that.
Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. You can’t retrieve it. You can’t scream and cry or stomp your feet to get it back. It’s over.
That’s why backing up your data on a regular basis is very, very, crucial. There are a few ways you can do this.
One of the most common strategies is backing up files manually to some sort of removable media. (Examples of removable media include external hard drives, USB flash drives, CD ROMs, DVDs, etc.).
This is a very straightforward process. Simply insert the removable media to your laptop or desktop and follow the below steps (note: we’ve written these instructions for a Windows user):
- Click “Start” or the Windows icon in the bottom left-hand corner of your screen
- Navigate to the location that contains the files that you want to backup
- Copy (don’t move) the files and folders from this location to the removable media by using your mouse to drag and drop documents
- The removable media should be visible in the “File Explorer” dialogue box
- Safely remove hardware from laptop/desktop and store it somewhere safe
You can and should regularly transfer files you wish to backup if you choose Method 1 as your route. It’s a manual process, so it’s up to you or your IT team to keep the hardware up to date.
As mentioned above, the Cloud has been a great resource and crutch for automatically storing and backing up photos. We no longer have to worry about digital cameras (which have declined in usage thanks to smartphones) failing before we get the chance to upload our pictures.
This makes the Cloud is another fantastic choice for data backup. Cloud storage services are widely popular today, and for good reason. Many offer end-to-end encryption of data to keep it safe and secure, negating the argument that the Cloud is less secure than local networks.
Additionally, users are offered a certain amount of free space and can upgrade at any time for additional space at an affordable price. Some big players in this sector include Dropbox and Google Drive, with the latter integrating with Android devices and the former offering 2GB of free data.
These are just two of the “Big Guys.” There are numerous options if you decide to go the Cloud route, i.e. MegaBackup, Nextcloud, Box, and built-in options for both Windows and macOS to name a few.
Once you sign up with a Cloud storage service, simply follow the service provider’s directions to get started. Each provider is different, but in general, cloud based services have a fairly low touch point. Once you get set up and choose your settings and so on, you shouldn’t have to do much, if anything, in terms of backing up data yourself.
The beauty of the automation.
Ultimately, it’s important to evaluate your goals as a business owner and a company before deciding the best course of action for data backup. And as always, be sure to discuss any technical questions or concerns with your IT team. Sometimes it’s best to leave the choice up to the experts.