Unfortunately, many people don’t realize the value of backing up their data until it’s too late, when some unforeseen catastrophe befalls them and years of precious work suddenly vanishes in the blink of an eye. Hard drives fail. Files can be held hostage by ransomware or totally destroyed by some other nefarious form of malware. The threats are real but the risk can be countered with some smart preventive steps.
We all have enough on our minds right now, but thankfully we also have enough time to turn our attention to a simple little task that’ll give us one less thing to keep us awake at night. Here’s a time-tested strategy to consider.
Savvy professionals abide by the failsafe 3-2-1 rule of thumb to ensure utmost protection. That means keeping a total of three copies of your data: two stored on separate devices at your home or office and one at another spot altogether off-site. The first set is the original saved to your hard drive. The second set goes to an external hard drive, flash drive or SD card. The third goes to a cloud-based backup service. Stick to this routine and you’ll never have to worry about losing your precious data again.
To some, all of this might sound like overkill, but here’s the rationale. If your primary hard drive resides on a desktop or laptop, well, you already know the risks: fire, flood, theft, etc. That’s why you need the secondary source, but an external hard drive can crash, too. And if you leave that drive connected to your computer even when not backing up, ransomware can invade and encrypt those files as well. Flash drives and SD cards are super handy but they’re small and sometimes get lost in the shuffle. It’s smart to have data stored on the first two, of course, but it’s the third step in the process – the cloud-based backup service – that really has your back.
Cloud storage and file-synching services like DropBox and Google Drive can certainly suffice, but if security is an issue, you might want to consider using a proper cloud backup service for extra peace of mind. Backblaze and similar backup service providers will automatically scan your hard drive for the files worth protecting, send them to their online servers and privately encrypt them on your end for security. The provider can’t even decrypt them, so you can rest assured they’re as secure as possible. Sleep tight!