It happens to the best of us and it makes us kick ourselves when it happens. Losing any amount of data after an accidental deletion, botched data transfer or due to hardware failure can throw us for a loop, especially if it happens to be personal data we can’t afford to lose. That loss hits even harder for those without a personal backup strategy.
A recent analysis from Graziadio Business Review found that the two leading causes of lost data were hardware failure and human error. With so much irreplaceable data on our PCs and portable devices, it makes sense to find a reliable and trustworthy personal backup solution before the worst happens.
Creating a Personal Backup Strategy
Thanks to continuing advances in data storage capacity, we have gigabytes and even terabytes of personal information stored on our PCs. From e-mails and important documents to music and photos with sentimental value, all of this valuable data is constantly at risk of disappearing with a few simple mistakes. Surprisingly, only 10 percent of PC users back up their data on a regular basis while 35 percent of users have never done that with their computers, according to information gathered by Backblaze.
Now is a good time to create a workable personal backup strategy for your family’s computers. On his blog (Hanselman.com), noted programmer Scott Hanselman refers to the backup Rule of Three:
– Have three copies of any important data
– Have those copies stored on two different formats
– Have at least one off-site backup
Three copies of your family’s important data ensure that if one copy is lost, you can easily get access to the others. Having those copies on two different formats (i.e. hard drive and DVDs) also ensures continued access to your important files. This includes two physical backups (such as a hard drive or memory card) that are updated on a weekly basis.
Having an off-site backup can do wonders for protecting your data in the event that your on-site backups are lost during a flood, fire or some other catastrophe. Rotating your backups between your home and an off-site location such as a bank safety deposit box can help you maintain your precious data even in the face of a complete and total loss.
Turning to the Cloud
It’s not just physical drive platters or even solid-state drives that offer an attractive solution for backups and personal storage. An increasing number of people are turning to the cloud to store and manage their most important files.
Subscribing to a cloud backup service like Mozy can help you store your data remotely in addition to managing your physical backups. Unlike physical backups, cloud-based backups can be accessed from virtually any location, making it possible to access a few files on the fly or restore all of your data from an alternate location. The upload process is relatively simple and most companies offer unlimited data plans that let you upload as much as you need for a small monthly fee.