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On the streets of Bangalore, in the dance halls of Rio, and among the windmills of the Low Countries, they are celebrating. Why? Because it's World Backup Day, a global holiday nonpareil.
What? This is the first you've heard about World Backup Day? Don't worry, celebrating is easy. You've just got to take some time to backup your files. Here's how to do it.
Back It Up
What would happen if your computer system went down right now and couldn't be recovered? How much work would you lose? How much of your client's information would disappear? Probably a fair amount. Such a loss is fairly common too. Thirty percent of people who have never backed up their files, according to the organizers of World Backup Day (no lawyers were included in that number, we hope), while 29 percent of disasters are caused by accidents.
Thankfully, keeping a copy of your files handy isn't too difficult. We'll start with the basics.
1. Set up automated backups.
If your system isn't being automatically backed up already, today is the time to set those up. Thankfully, they're easy. Windows includes automatic file backup software, while Mac computers have the "Time Machine" for backups. Third-party programs can also help you out. All of these will make a copy of your computer's files, in case you need to replace them in the future.
2. Store that backup somewhere else.
If you backup your computer but just leave that backup on your computer, you haven't done much of anything. You need to put that information in a separate location, in case your computer explodes in flames some day. This could be an external hard drive or thumb drive, or virtual storage on "the cloud."
3. Ensure security.
Once backed up, your backups need to be protected just as thoroughly as any other files. If you're backing up to a physical device like a thumb drive, you have the advantage of keeping those files entirely in your control. Drop that thing in a safe and you should be good. That is, assuming that the fire that destroys your computer doesn't take your backups with it. (Maybe consider storing physical copies in a separate, secure location.)
If you store your backups on the cloud, you'll also need to be aware of security. The cloud has the benefit of making your backups available from pretty much anywhere. Your office can burn down, but AWS never will. That convenience also means that anyone else may try to break in to your info. You'll want to thoroughly research the security measures your cloud storage provider employees before putting any sensitive information on the cloud.
4. Don't forget about your other devices.
Our computers aren't our only workspace anymore. Our phones and tablets have plenty of information that we can't afford to lose, even if we lose the gadgets themselves. Thankfully, this info can also be backed up pretty easily. If you use an iPhone or iPad, iTunes will be your go-to backup. For Android users, you can set your phone to backup through Google, or make manual transfers.
As with the info on your computer, you'll want to keep these backups safe and secure as well.
And that's about all you need to get started! Happy World Backup Day, everyone.
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