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The cloud or a hard drive, either way… back up your devices!

31 March 2020

With more people working and studying at home, it’s more important than ever to regularly back up your devices. Because without back-ups once it’s gone, it’s gone!

Running regular back-ups is still overlooked by many and what better day to remind you why and how to back up your devices than World Backup Day.

And when we say back up your devices, we mean backing up your computer, tablet, mobile phone, smart watch and even the important apps you use every day. Some people forget about backing up their mobile phone, but if you took a good look at what you use your mobile for you’d realise the important information and photos you would not want to lose, so don’t overlook it!


Why back up?

Hardware failure, virus, accident, lost or stolen device, natural disaster, losing files is more common than you think, and when your data, files and photos are gone, they’re gone. Without a backup, there’s no getting them back. So… back up!

The more often you back up your computer, mobile phone and tablet, the better you’re covered in the event something happens to it. Because we know that accidents can happen, especially when using our devices while juggling multiple work, study and family responsibilities at home.


Hard drive, cloud, or both?

You have options when backing up your devices. You can back up to an external hard drive or USB flash drive (local back up) or to a secure cloud-based service.

Pick the most convenient method for your needs or use both (both is recommended by experts), keeping in mind that your local back-up drives could fall victim to the same incident that leads you to losing the data in the first place.

If you do decide to go with just an external hard drive or USB flash drive, back up to more than one and keep them in a safe place!  (A safe place you’ll remember!)

What’s backing up to the cloud? Essentially, it’s backing up your files to a secure online location via a third party service provider with a monthly subscription cost. Once you’ve set it up and installed the application on your devices it will all run automatically.

Some cloud backup providers to take a look at include IDrive, Backblaze, Carbonite, SOS Online Backup and Acronis True Image. When selecting a provider, remember to check their pricing, size limitations, encryption, privacy, end of service terms and the location of their servers (where they store all the backed-up data). Some providers will have cloud storage and cloud backup services, and they are 2 different services, so make sure you check they have what you need.


How do I back up?

Most devices have backup systems already built into them and you can run back-ups manually or set a schedule so it’s done automatically (hello set and forget!).

Take a look at the Help Centre for your brand of device or operating system and you’ll find information about their automated backup programs and how to set them up.

For example, for a computer here’s the Windows support information for backing up your computer. And if you use a Mac, here’s the information for backing up your Mac.

While Apple has information on how to back up your iPhone or iPad and Samsung covers backing up a Samsung device.

If you want to back up some or all of the apps on your mobile phone or tablet, just make sure the apps are selected in the back up settings for your device.


When should I back up?

How often you back up depends on how often you’re making changes to files and apps or how many photos you take a day or week. That’ll indicate if daily, weekly or monthly would work best for you. But realistically the more frequent you back up the better.

If you decide to run backups manually, make sure you establish a routine, otherwise you’ll only do it once or twice a year when you happen to remember to. So get started now and develop the habit of routinely backing up your devices.  Don’t get caught out!



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Janine Vivian
Janine Vivian

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