In the last lesson, we discussed file-encrypting malware. This threat will be far less menacing if you have made copies of all your important and valuable data – the fix is simply to delete the malware and restore your files.
Backups are useful in many other cases, too. Imagine that you decided to clean up your computer, delete unnecessary documents, empty the Recycle Bin... And then you discover you just chucked out the presentation for tomorrow’s report!
Copies also come in handy if the device gets broken, lost, or stolen. In a nutshell, backing up means peace of mind. But you need to approach it wisely.
First of all, decide what exactly needs backing up. Work materials and teaching aids. Personal photos and videos. Settings files and game saves. In other words, it’s worth backing up everything that you value and can’t easily download again from the
Don’t forget that your important files probably won’t all be on your main computer. These days, a smartphone or tablet is just as important as a laptop. And they are most likely to contain the only copy of your favorite photos. Losing them would not
Where to store backups? Whatever you do, don’t keep them close to the originals, otherwise a ransomware attack will ensnare them too. There are four main options.
The first is a flash drive. It’s inexpensive, portable, and handy for frequent backups. There are some disadvantages too. A flash drive is easily lost, doesn’t store that much, and its lifespan is short. Therefore, it’s best for current projects:
plug it in, copy the files, keep it on your desk.
The second is an external hard drive. The main advantage is the large storage capacity. The chief disadvantage is that it requires careful handling. Either drive, hard or flash, should not be permanently connected to the computer – otherwise, if ransomware
sneaks onto the device, it will encrypt your backup storage too. So having made backups, remove the drive and put it in a child- and cat-free place.
The third option is a network-attached storage (NAS). This solution is convenient and reliable, but expensive and relatively complex to set up.
The fourth option, the simplest and most convenient in today’s world, is the cloud. The only major downside is that its safekeeping is out of your hands. Therefore, it is not recommended for confidential work documents.
How often do you need to make backups? It depends on the types of files. Documents for current projects should be backed up daily. But you’ll probably find that photos can be done less often. So the main thing here is not frequency, but regularity.
How not to forget to make backups, and not to overlook important documents? There’s one way. Stay tuned!
Where should you NOT store backups of your computer files?