March 31st is world backup day. This day of awareness started about 6 years ago and it is growing in popularity, likely due to the number of times people have lost their data over the years. There is nothing quite like that sinking feeling when you just lost some data and realize and it's never coming back. I often brag to my wife that our house could be hit by an EMP and all our precious data would be safe. Perhaps I have just watched too many episodes of 24 as that is probably an unrealistic scenario. But either way, having my data safely backed up helps me sleep at night.
What should you back up?
There are quite a few places we collect data, such as your email, your computer files, your mobile device files, your files in the cloud, etc. Let’s examine each of these...
Ah the beloved paper trail of all your correspondence. In this day and age there are variety of email solutions out there, but the best solution in our opinion is setting them up as IMAP. This stores all your emails on the server rather than the devices itself. This way if your computer dies or you get a new phone, there is no need to transfer any files, just enter your settings and you'll be right back in the email saddle. (If you are spending too much time in the email saddle, you should read our last article here.)
Mobile devices are quickly becoming big parts of our lives and to start over from scratch every time you get a new phone is completely unnecessary. Just plug your device into your computer or set it to backup over wifi when you are at home.
No worries dude, my files are in the cloud. That is all good until there is a problem with the cloud. Luckily most cloud systems will store a local copy of your files as well, so just make your cloud files are a part of your computer backup strategy and you will be fine. Also if you put all your data in the cloud it can get expensive, especially now that you can record your home pet videos in 4k.
Your computer stores lots of data, such as office documents, music, photos, videos, cloud files, mobile device backups and more. If you are on Apple the Time capsule works well and if you are on PC any external drive can do the trick. For an extra layer of protection you can setup a raid configuration that mirrors what is on each drive so there is no single point of failure.
Depending on your hosting setup, you may or may not have to worry about this. Here at c-Seven we provide triple redundancy on your web hosting data that is housed right here in Toronto. Not only is all the data raid protected, we also do nightly local backups and weekly offsite backups. In addition to this, we have intrusion detection systems to keep the bad guys out. If your website sits on a single server and it is hacked, it is crucial to have a backup, otherwise you will have to start from scratch. It is also good to know where your provider is. There are many very cheap hosting options out there, that sometimes disappear in the night leaving their clients wondering where they are.
If your data is important to you, then backup regularly, because nobody ever plans to lose their data. But don’t just have a single point of failure. A backup drive is great, but if all your data is there and it fails then what?
If you want to ensure that your data is stored securely online, give us a call or shoot us an email.
Happy World Backup Day!