Back It Up, Protecting Yourself Against Data Loss

shared-responsibility

With October being Cyber Security Awareness month and the height of hurricane season, we at K2 Tech want to talk about the importance of backing up your electronic data. Backing up your data, whether it is business or personal data, is more important than hitting that save button. If you never backed anything up and your laptop is stolen, it doesn’t matter how many times you saved, your data is gone forever.  This blog, written with the help of Staysafeonline.org, will go over all the important factors of Data Backup and can be use in both a personal or professional setting.

BACK IT UP

Protect yourself against data loss by making electronic copies of important files, commonly referred to as a backup.

Our computers contain vast amounts of data, from family photos and music collections to financial records and personal contacts. In fact, a recent National Cyber Security Alliance/Symantec study found that more than 68% of Americans store 25% or more of their photos digitally. For most people, the loss of that information could be devastating.

Data can be lost in several ways: computer malfunctions, theft, viruses, spyware, accidental deletion, and natural disasters.

Data backup is a simple, three step process:

  • Make copies of your data
  • Select the hardware or method to store your data
  • Safely store the backup device that holds your copied files

Make Copies of Your Data

Many computers come with a backup software program installed, so check to see if you have one. Most backup software programs will allow you to make copies of every file and program on your computer, or just the files you’ve changed since your last backup.

Select Hardware to Store Your Data

When you conduct a backup, the files will have to be stored on a physical device - such as CDs, DVDs, or USB flash drives, an external hard drive, or on the web using cloud-based online storage.

CDs, DVDs and flash drives: These are best for storing a small amount of pictures, music, and videos.

External hard drive: If your computer serves as the family photo album and music library, it’s best to get an external hard drive that plugs into your computer (preferably via a USB port).  This way, you can assure more adequate storage space for all your files. Copying information will also be faster with these devices.

Online backup services: If you don’t want to hassle with new hardware, there are many online backup services available, usually for a monthly fee. Some security software includes this service with your subscription, so be sure to check that you don’t already have this service available. You simply backup your files to a secure server over the Internet. These services have the added advantage of safely storing your files in a remote location and the files can be accessed anywhere you have a connection to the Internet. This can be valuable for people who travel a lot and may need to recover files or if you live in area prone to natural disasters that might require an evacuation.

Safely Store the Backup Device that Holds Your Data

After setting up the software and copying your files on a regular basis, make sure you keep your backup device somewhere safe.  Some ideas include a trusted neighbor’s house, your workplace, a safe, or a secure place at home that would likely survive a natural disaster. Keep your backup device close enough so that you can retrieve it easily when you do your regular backup.

Other software programs are available for purchase if your system does not have a backup program or if you’re seeking other features. Ideally, you should backup your files at least once a week.

Need help with Data Backup for your business, call us at K2 Tech today so we can set up a customized Backup solution to fit your business’ needs.

For more information, visit the National Cyber Security Alliance's Stay Safe Online post.

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