World Backup Day: Data loss is every tech enthusiast’s worst nightmare — computer hardware is fallible, and you never know when your ten-year-old SSD or hard drive might kick the bucket. It could be due to a power surge, accidental damage, or even just the degradation that comes with old age, but drive failure will happen to almost all of us someday. When it does, what will you do?
You could always take your hardware to a data recovery expert and see what (if anything) they can extract, but in this case, it’s better to be proactive instead of reactive. Performing frequent, system-wide backups of all your most important data is one way to accomplish that.
Unfortunately, backing up your sensitive photos, videos, and game saves can be a slow and tedious process. With the busy online lives many of us now lead, spending a few hours a week protecting our data isn’t always practical.
Still, even the occasional backup is better than nothing, and today is the perfect time to put that thought into practice: it’s World Backup Day, an unofficial holiday (founded in 2011) that encourages us all to take some time to safeguard our most important information. As our own Shawn Knight put it a few years ago, it’s helpful to think of backups like financial emergency funds.
You hope you never need them, but when you do, they can “turn a major crisis into a minor inconvenience.” So, let’s say you agree with that sentiment and want to participate this year — how would you even go about doing that?
Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Backups are personal, and the ideal strategy will vary depending on your values and preferences. In short, though, there are both local and cloud storage options available to you, and they don’t have to be complicated.
We won’t list every strategy here, but I’ll use my personal backup method as an example.
Since I care about the privacy of my data above all else, I avoid cloud storage solutions. Instead, I snagged two high-capacity, USB-based external drives from Amazon last year. Most of the time, they remain disconnected and stored in a safe location.
However, every other month or so, I plug them into my system and transfer any newly-accrued data over. It can be a lengthy, overnight process in some cases, but the peace of mind I get for doing it is always worth the hassle.
No matter what backup solution you choose, bear in mind that redundancy is a good thing. In my case, I have the same data copied across both external drives — even if one fails, my data is protected on the other.
But that’s enough out of us. Will you be participating in World Backup Day this year? If so, what does your backup strategy look like? Let us know in the comments.
Masthead credit: Nuttapol Pingpittayakun