This World Backup Day (Sunday 31 March ) is a time to consider what you would do if you lost all your photos, contacts and documents without warning.
Our digital photos and videos of our friends, children and family or holidays would be irreplaceable if lost. And do you have time to replace your contacts lists and documents?
According to global stats*, 70% of people worldwide are safeguarding their data by backing it up. This means their precious memories and other important files are protected if their computer or device crashes, goes missing or is attacked by a malware infection or other internet nasty. These types of incidents are way more common than you may realise, and can happen without warning.
So what is a backup?
A backup is a second copy of all your important files such as your family photos, videos from holidays, personal documents and emails.
Instead of just storing it all in one place (like your computer), you keep another copy elsewhere, just in case something happens to the original.
How do I backup my photos, documents and other important files?
1. Back up to an external hard-drive, the cloud or both!
People generally back their data up one of two ways – either to an external hard drive or to the internet (commonly known as the cloud). They are both easy to use and, depending on the type and amount of data you hold, you can backup to both for extra peace of mind.
Popular operating systems, like Windows and Mac, have simple step-by-step instructions on the support pages of their websites:
Storing backed up copies of your files on a hard drive that’s in a different location to your house or business provides added protection. That way, if some physical harm comes to your computer (say flood or theft), you will still have access to your important files.
The cloud can also act as a remote or off-site storage for backups, and many cloud storage services provide a free option for smaller amounts of storage. For example, iCloud offers 5GB free storage when you set this up on an iPhone, or if you have a Google account for your device or computer storage, your first 15 GB of storage is free. However, you need to be mindful that this free quota can fill up quickly, particularly if you take a lot of photos or videos, so you may need to consider purchasing extra cloud storage (or cull your photos ahead of each backup!).
2. Back-up regularly
Whether you backup daily, weekly, fortnightly or monthly is up to you and your individual circumstances, but the rule of thumb is the more frequently the better.
3. Turn on automatic back-ups
Most providers offer the option in your device’s settings for you to schedule automatic backups, but it’s important that you turn this feature on. It’s not something that your operating system automatically does for you when you purchase a computer or other digital device.