1. Have you ever lost your keys or locked them in your car?
2. If so, did you rush out and make a spare key (bonus points for little magnet box)?
Congratulations! You have a backup!
The equivalent of this in the computer world is to have your hard drive fail, get hacked, or to have your data encrypted by ransomware. Without a backup plan, it’s like getting locked out of your car, only you may never being able to get back in again. YIKES!
Unfortunately, the first time we have something happen to our computers we don’t normally invest the time and energy it takes to create a proper backup plan. There are several elements to backing up the information on your computer. Let’s look at some of the ways you can protect from data loss.
Most operating systems include levels of firewall protection from low (Come on in, the water’s fine!) to high (Heck… I didn’t really need the internet anyway). You may need to tweak them a bit, but for heaven’s sake don’t turn it off. It’s for your own protection.
2. Anti-Virus program
This seems like an elementary step in protecting your data, but many people don’t bother. Because the Anti-Virus programs constantly scan what goes in to your computer, they do slow your computer a bit. However, they have improved greatly over the years and are faster than ever. There are also many inexpensive and free solutions on the market.
3. Off-Site Backup/External Backup
If you have things on your computer you just can’t live without, then you have several options for backing it up. Your pictures, documents, spreadsheets, and even databases for accounting software can be backed up then restored if they are lost. As with Anti-Virus programs, there are free cloud storage backup plans with limited storage which allow you to pay for more storage as you need it. You can also go “old-school” and simply back up the data to a thumb drive or invest in a good external hard drive storage system. Any of these options are relatively inexpensive when you consider the cost of losing your information.
To recap, if you’re not backing up then you won’t be moving forward!