It’s guaranteed: computers will fail at one time or another. Chances are you’ve already felt the icy-cold sting of having valuable data disappear from your digital life. But you don’t have to let it happen again with the right backup strategy, and here’s how to do it.
3 Different Kinds of Backup
A comprehensive backup strategy will make use of all three different kinds of backup, here’s what they are.
Full backups do a complete backup each time of all data. This can be tedious, but it becomes Important if an essential file becomes corrupt in-between backups, because if you only overwrite your backups, your working file would have been overwritten with the corrupted file.
An incremental backup first saves all of your data and then only overwrites files that change. This makes the backup process faster and also saves storage space. Some backup apps keep backups of deleted files, so you can recover them should you need to.
Whereas full and incremental backups save your data, creating a mirror saves the entire current state of your operating system. In the event of a complete system failure, you can restore your system easily using your mirror backup with your data, with software and settings intact.
Why Backup Offsite?
You may have a great backup setup at home, but what happens if there’s theft or fire? You not only lose data, you lose all your backups – which is why it’s important to have offsite backups. You can store your backups at a secondary site like your office, or use a cloud service as your offsite backup.
3 Backup Rules
All good backups follow these three rules. Learn them by heart and apply them rigorously.
BACKUPS NEED TO BE AUTOMATIC
It’s all too easy to let your backups lapse. That’s why they need to be scheduled and automatic.
BACKUPS NEED TO BE REGULAR
The more mission critical your data, the more regularly it needs to be backed up, if not hourly then at least daily.
BACKUPS NEED TO BE REDUNDANT
Similar to the logic behind full backups, you need to have multiple saved copies of the same file, in case files become corrupt or lost somewhere along the line.