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How to (actually) back up your files – SCAD District | #itsecurity | #infosec | #hacking | #aihp


Can you still remember when you last backed up your computer? Was it last month, last year, or never at all? Backing up your computer can seem like a hassle, but it’s worth it. Documents that take years to create can be lost within minutes, whether it’s because your laptop gets stolen, your hard drive crashes or your house burns down.

The best strategy for backing up your computer files is called the 3-2-1 backup rule. It requires you to have three copies of your data on two different devices and one cloud-based storage option. So, how can you create a fail-proof backup system?

If you have simply been moving your important files to a hard drive, you should know that this doesn’t make up a full backup. Experts say that a good backup system requires redundancy – multiple copies of your documents. That comprises not only copies on hard drives, but also on a cloud-based storage service.

Despite popular belief that Dropbox or Google Drive are great backup options, they are mostly useful for syncing files over multiple devices. They aren’t very cost-effective when it comes to backing up documents. While Google charges about $10 for 2 TB, there are less pricey cloud storage services out there. When choosing your backup service, go for the most trustworthy and least expensive ones.

Online backup services are the best protection against theft or other disasters that leave you without your computer and external hard drive. Cloud storage services usually charge a monthly or yearly fee. In exchange, they let you store your encrypted data on their servers and help you retrieve your files in case you lost them.

When choosing an external drive for backups, you can pick between desktop and portable hard drives. While the former is fast and easy to set up, the latter is rather slow and more expensive. However, portable hard drives are much smaller and don’t need a power cord, which makes them perfect for laptops.

If you are a Windows user, you can back up your files with the pre-installed application File History, which stores your files on an external drive. Once File History is set up, backups are operated automatically. All you need to do is open the app and add an external drive to the backup list. You can also customize the folders you want to back up.

If you have a Mac, you can create local backups with Time Machine. The free application lets you take snapshots of files by storing them on an external drive. To set it up, connect your hard drive to the computer and open Time Machine. Before backing up your files, you can encrypt your backup for increased security. After the setup, Time Machine will run in the background.

Both applications easily let you restore files in case you lost them.

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