What is data?
First, let’s define what ‘your data’ commonly means. ‘Your data’ commonly refers to the files you keep on your computer that are not part of the program originally or that you created. This could be pictures, documents, spread sheets, databases, music, videos, and the like. This can also include things like e-mail, address book, and favorite or bookmarked websites. Basically, if you lost your computer, ‘your data’ would be what you couldn’t get back by simply replacing the computer.
How to protect your data
We have a saying – “There are 2 kinds of people, those who’ve lost data and those who haven’t lost data YET”. At some point, everyone can expect to face some kind of data loss. How you recover from it depends on how you protect yourself against data loss. This means having one (or more) backup copies of important data.
There are 2 common places people backup their data – local backup and cloud (online) backup. A local backup is a copy of the file on a separate drive, most commonly either USB flash drive or external drive. It can also be other local physical items like a CD or DVD, or network backup device like a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive.
Cloud backup is where a copy of the file is uploaded to a computer not at your location. Some common cloud backups include Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, Carbonite, or other company that offers you either free or paid for storage of your files.
Both local and cloud backups can be done manually or can be automated by a program. The biggest concern with any backup is making sure it is being done. You need to occasionally verify your backup is being completed – your files are only as safe as the last time they backed up. Verifying your backup usually just means accessing your backup from a different computer and checking that a file is backed up properly.
What method of backup is best for you?
That is a tough one. It really comes down to you – what seems the best option for you, how much data you have, and costs. There are benefits to both local and cloud backups, and both manual and automatic backups. Stop in and talk to one of our experienced technicians, and we can help you navigate the congested world of backup options and select the best one(s) to fit your needs.