As more and more of our “possessions” exist in a digital format, the chance of them disappearing into thin air increases in turn. The need to back-up your precious data is highlighted in the strongest way, after you lose something that you can’t get back. The trick is to backing up your data before the unthinkable occurs.
Can you afford not to back up?
I didn’t give a lot of forethought to storing a bunch of holiday photos on my PS3 gaming console and only on my PS3. But then one day my PS3 crashed along with its file system… and all my photos.
Different files will likely have different value to individuals, sentimental or otherwise, and thus different measures can and should be taken.
When it comes to items such as your wedding video or photos of your new born baby, you really want to be thorough if you would like to still have them in years or decades to come. Remember that any piece of equipment can be lost, stolen or destroyed. If it makes sense in terms of security, the further you disperse and duplicate the data, the better.
Create a process for saving and backing up your files
If I take this document that I am writing for example, I think it’s a good idea to simply save the file once or twice in case of something minor like the computer losing power. I also find it useful to email the file to myself once I have finished so that it exists online as well as on my work computer. This way the chance of losing it is greatly mitigated, and the file is basically available to me wherever I am.
The most obvious aspect to backing up your files is to have them exist in different locations. Having a copy of the same data in two different folders on the same computer is a start, but is far from ideal.
Data can be saved on multiple computers, external hard drives, DVD/Bluray Discs, flash drives, on your mobile phone or tablet. You’ll need to do this on a regular basis and put a reminder in your calendar, otherwise your backups will become out of date very quickly and you could lose your more recent files.
But even if you have 100 different copies of files in different places throughout your house, they are of course still vulnerable to certain disasters (like flood, fire or theft). Storing those external hard drives in different geographic locations makes sense in terms of redundancy, but isn’t always practical or secure for an individual or family that all live under one roof.
Being able to store large amounts of data over the internet in a secure way is potentially the most comprehensive form of backup.
The cloud for those who are not familiar with the term means you can store files on the internet. Just like you can use Facebook to create photo albums and upload your photos – you can also store photos, videos and documents on a website that only you and your family have access to. We looked at some different cloud storage options on the blog earlier this year.
There are of course many different ways of backing up your precious data, and everyone should try to find an option that works best for them. Making manual copies will work for some, whilst others won’t be able to sleep at night without the full knowledge that all backups are being done automatically without them having to lift a finger. The most important point that I would have anyone take away from reading this article, is that it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to data that one simply can’t afford to lose.
How do you backup your digital memories? Want to share some good tips and recommendations? Let us know in the comments below.