Whether you were still at work during the last few weeks or you had time to yourself, you probably spent a lot of time on your computer or your phone. You looked on Facebook, watched movies, created documents, downloaded files — in short, you put data on your computer. If something goes wrong, you could lose all that valuable and sometimes expensive information.
That’s the motivation behind naming March 31 World Backup Day. Backing up your computer data to another location is essential to protecting your information in case your computer is damaged or simply stops working.
A backup can be as simple as saving a file a second time in a different place. The important thing is that the “different place” is somewhere separate, so the data isn’t completely lost if the computer is hacked or physically damaged. It could be an external drive, purchased separately and plugged into your computer via a USB port. You can just copy and paste files from your desktop, documents folder, or other location over to the new drive. Make sure you copy and paste, though, not cut and paste, or all you will have done is move a file from one location to another.
Another option is to store your data somewhere online, either using a paid service or simply by uploading to a secure site. If you don’t have someone backing up your information for you, you’ll need to remember to do it yourself on a regular basis… which is easy to forget.
You back up your computer to have a second copy. But there’s no need to have a second copy of files you can download again, like a word processing program or spreadsheet stored on your company’s server. A good rule is, “Back up anything you can’t replace.” Your photos can’t be taken again. You might have spent dozens of hours on a report. Those are the kinds of things you want to save.
You might have hundreds of files spread across dozens of folders, and still more documents, pictures, and other files just saved to your desktop or your downloads folder. Irreplaceable files are often in folders labeled Documents, Music, Pictures, Video, and Movies.
Having a backup is a great way to make sure your favorite photos and vital work documents aren’t lost forever. Another is Hastings Mutual’s Cyber Liability and Data Breach Response coverage especially for businesses. It covers not just loss for damaged or deleted data, but also for hacking, theft, and much more.