Backing up your data will protect your sensitive information from the unexpected and ensure you have the files and information you need.
Is simply moving your files to the Cloud enough? Or what if you save an extra copy to an external hard drive? You want to ensure your digital data is protected, but knowing what is considered adequate protection can be challenging. Here is why you need to backup multiple copies of your data.
The Importance of Backing Up Your Data
Despite your best efforts, any number of things can happen that will put your digital files in jeopardy. Old devices that have seen better days, viruses and malware, and even accidentally spilling your coffee can all come between you and your data. Creating a data backup, or rather, saving your files to a secure location, will ensure you have your files if the unexpected should happen.
Another reason to back up your files is to ensure you have a record of everything you need. Most electronic devices come with some storage, but the internal hard drive is typically not enough for all of your storage needs. For example, some common consumer electronics have:
- Smartphones: 32GB – 128GB
- Tablets: 16GB – 64GB
- Desktop computers: 250GB – 1TB
- Laptop computers: 16GB – 512GB
Easily Manage Your Files
A 128GB hard drive in a laptop may be enough to address your immediate storage needs, but you likely have files on your smartphone and an archive of older information. You can quickly out-grow the internal hard drive on most devices, creating a need for another spot to store your digital files.
Establishing a place not on your current device where you can store files can keep your files safe and make it much easier to manage your digital data. Stashing your digital photos on an external hard drive or the Cloud will save you the trouble of running out of space and going through the process of moving files every time you get a new device.
How Much Is Enough
Backing up a single copy of important data may seem like the responsible thing to do. However, you may want to consider creating multiple backups for critical information. Saving copies of the same file to your device, an external hard drive, and the Cloud provides additional protection, so if one file is damaged, deleted, or anything else should go wrong, you will still have two safe copies. Backing up extra files may seem excessive, but any type of storage system can be compromised. Flash drives and external hard drives can be misplaced, stolen, or damaged, and it is possible to delete files from the Cloud accidentally, so keeping an extra copy or two will ensure your data is safe.
You may not need to create duplicate backups for all of your files, but an excellent way to determine if you need multiple copies is to consider how upsetting or difficult it would be to lose your only copy. For instance, losing receipts or forms you need for your taxes can be bad news come tax season, and losing a family photo can be devastating. Documents that are irreplaceable or difficult to replace are worth backing up a few times just to be safe.
Make It a Habit
Backing up files can be cumbersome, but it is a necessary task. Making it a habit to routinely backup files can make it less of a chore since there will be fewer files to handle. The longer you wait to backup your files, the more data you stand to lose. It may also be easier to organize your files when you periodically upload them. Organizing one month’s worth of files is more manageable and will take less time than uploading and managing an entire year’s worth of files.
Regularly backing up your data also allows you to evaluate your storage needs. Sooner or later, you will run out of space, so keeping an eye on the amount of space you are using and how much space is available can help you proactively address your storage needs.
Backing up files will also keep your daily devices, like your laptop and smartphone, in good working condition. Running out of storage space is a common and frustrating experience, but you will continuously free up space if you routinely backup files. Running out of space and deciding to delete files to make room for others is no fun, and you can make sure this never happens to you again simply by backing up your files regularly.
Keep Your Files Safe
No one ever expects to lose their digital files, but it can happen, and it does happen all the time. Being proactive and backing up your data will keep your files safe, but backing up multiple copies can prove to be extremely helpful if one of your devices to storage locations is compromised.