For most people, their computer stores a lot of important and valuable information: tax documents, business transaction details, photos, movies, music, and more! Storing all of this information in just one place is risky. Malicious software can destroy or delete data, your computer can be stolen, or your hard drive might fail. Unfortunately one of the most common components to fail in your computer is your hard drive. The good news is that hard drives are relatively affordable and easy to replace. The bad news is that the hard drive is where your data is stored. If your hard drive fails you can lose all of your documents, settings and most importantly your pictures. Documents can be recreated, settings can be reset but moments can never be recaptured. Thankfully there are simple ways to keep your pictures and other important data safe.
1. Backup to an external drive.
External hard drives are relatively cheap and backing up your data is as simple as copying your data from your computer to the external drive. Most external hard drives include software that automatically backs up for you, either at regular intervals or when you plug the drive into your computer. If you do use an external hard drive to back up your data, make sure to store your data both on your computer and the external drive. Your backup drive can fail just as easily as your computer drive so make sure to have a copy of your data in both places.
2. Backup your data up online.
There are several services that you can use to store your data securely online. Most of these services offer a limited amount of free storage with additional storage available for a monthly fee. Some of the more popular options are Google Drive, Dropbox, Copy.com, Microsoft OneDrive, iCloud and Box.com. All of these platforms offer different amounts of free and paid storage and the option to automatically upload and synchronize your files.
Which one works best for you is a matter of personal preference. However you decide to protect your data, don’t procrastinate. It can be devastating to lose years worth of family pictures and important documents. Luckily there are easy and affordable solutions to keep your important data safe.