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At some point or the other, we’ve all been there. That stomach-churning moment when you insert a USB drive, or SD card, or even a floppy disk, and get a message like “The disk in drive D is not recognized – do you want to format it?”

While there has been a steady push for consumers to embrace storing their data on the cloud, a lot of us still put our data onto our laptops without worrying what might happen to it. I’ve heard countless horror stories about people losing project work, priceless photos, and entire digital music collections just because they didn’t think it would be necessary to backup their data. With storage being so cheap these days,there’s no excuse not to invest in a simple network drive or external hard drive that you can use to backup your precious data.

To help you on this backup pilgrimage, here are five tips that may sound trivial, but can prove to be a life-saver if you want to keep your data safe:

Don’t wait until it is too late – get your hands on an external drive
A backup means having no less than two copies of any data you deem valuable and external hard drives are a great way to backup files. They offer great value for money, are fast, and offer larger storage capacity than USB sticks, CDs and DVDs.

Use back-up software: make it automatic. Set and forget!
It’s best not to rely on manually backing up your data – you will forget or sometimes be unable to backup your data. It’s also easy to make mistakes or omit something important when you’re backing up manually. Use backup software to automate your backup process. An easy-to-use backup program creates a backup copy of your data reliably and automatically, keeps logs and notifies you if any problems occur.

Keep copies in different places: a backup of a backup of a backup…..
Make sure that you have at least two copies of your most important files. Several backups on different devices and in different locations, reduces your risk of complete data loss.
Remember that simply moving important files (i.e. maintaining only one copy of the data) from your computer to a hard drive is not backup but storage, so your files are still at risk of being lost should anything happen.

Get your own personal cloud
Rest assured that your data is safe at home, yet is also accessible when you’re on the go with your own personal cloud storage system. With personal cloud storage options connected to your home network, you can safeguard content from your PC, laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Test your backup plan!
Your backup software will log any problems it has encountered while saving your files – make sure it didn’t miss anything…it may just be that special photo or video that you can never re-take.

 

(image courtesy of WD Middle East)

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A former IT & Marketing Manager turned full time Editor, Nick enjoys playing videogames during work hours and tinkering with the latest gadgets.

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