Computers have become an instrument of daily use without which our lives seem incomplete. There is a heavy dependency on computers these days in all walks of life due to extensive automation in even the smallest part of our daily activities. Talking of computers, we all know exactly the importance of digital data. And talking of data, losing data and data backup are important concerns and considerations.
Almost all of us are so busy with our lives that we tend not to consciously think about this seemingly little aspect of our highly automated and computer dependent lives – security of our digital data. Many people do not even know the importance of securing their digital data as this digital signature has a lot of information in it which can be misused by hackers or anyone who gets access to it. If something like this has never happened to you before, that is no guarantee that it will not or cannot happen in the future either. So, securing all kinds of data is essential for our own security.
Any kind of accident can happen anytime. Your laptop may get stolen or your Windows may get corrupted due to a virus attack. The possibilities are numerous. All these things that can result in loss of your personal data can be countered proactively by the proper backup of your data. Backing up your data should be a routine and regular activity. It might sound like a tedious task but it isn’t all that difficult. There is software available now which enables data backup automatically and synchronizes this activity with your email.
Cloud storage and such software allow for trouble-free data backup. It is pertinent to mention here that this backup system is not fully safe. There is always a chance that something may go wrong and you may lose your data but the chance of that happening is very low and you should still consider regular data backup a critical necessity.
This is a kind of backup which is irrespective of the operating system being used. Despite the fact that operating systems nowadays possess pretty robust backup systems which are inbuilt in the computers, this local backup provides an additional safety of data to the user. Local backup means backing up your data on a locally available external device. We can use an external hard drive for this purpose.
Generally, the amount of data available on the hard drive of your computer determines the size of the external hard drive you require. This is the minimum size one would require for data backup. Ideally, this size should be at least one and a half or two times as large as your computer’s hard disk size.
This kind of backup is relatively safe and does not cost more than around $70-$80. Seagate’s Backup Plus or Western Digital’s My Passport are the two options which are available at this price and can save priceless files and memories.
Not only this, there are other devices also available in the market these days. Devices like USBs, DVDs, CDs, and Memory cards are also an option for securing your data.
Mac OS X: Time Machine
Mac is a computer operating system introduced by Apple. Mac is relatively a safer operating system to use as it ensures data security through an inbuilt software. If you are using a Mac, you already have a great backup tool available to you in the form of ‘Time Machine.’
There is a small icon of the Time Machine available on the menu bar in Mac operating system. The software can be used to plug-in an external drive into the computer. The software is then opened once it is ensured that device has been plugged in and has been detected by the software. This drive is then configured to become a backup drive using the same Mac software.
The device is so safe and easy to use that even if you have got a new machine or you want to reset the old one, the software will prompt you to provide a Time Machine backup to restore from. It is very important that you keep plugging in your device/drive regularly and create backups. A backup which is about two years old is at least better than having nothing. But the more backups you do, the safer your data.
Windows 10: File History – Backup and Restore
Microsoft in its Windows 10 operating system has introduced an integrated backup system like the one provided by Mac. It works pretty much the same way as the Mac operating system.
An external device is required to be plugged in this kind of backup as well. Once plugged in, you can navigate over to File History. If you are unable to find it, you can search it in the Start Menu or may find it in the Settings Application in the Backups Portion. Here you will find a flexibility to select folders which you require to backup. You can also set the frequency of backups which will automatically backup your desired data.
As discussed earlier, backup devices are not completely safe from damage and do not provide hundred percent security of our data. These devices can get damaged, lost, or stolen. So the safer option is to have an additional virtual backup of your physical devices. This adds an additional layer of security in case these physical devices get damaged and fail you. You can have a backup readily available on the internet in the form of cloud storage.
There are many service providers providing a limited space on your cloud ID for data storage. Some of these cloud storage services include Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox and iCloud. They are compatible with both Mac and Windows.
Their applications are now available for mobile devices which automatically scan a local folder and keep everything included in it to be uploaded to the cloud for eternal safety and backup. This data can only be removed by the user and is safe from physical damage and loss. Unless your account gets hacked, your data remains safe on cloud storage services. This is probably the only shortcoming of this medium of data storage.