It used to be said that the only two inevitable things are death and taxes, but we all know the third is that your computer’s going to crash at the worst possible moment. Unless you have your data properly backed up, that could be a catastrophic loss.
Random crashes aren’t the only danger you need to protect yourself against. PCs in particular are vulnerable to attacks by viruses and other malware that can corrupt files and either take over or disable your computer.
No security system is perfect, though, since malware is constantly evolving, and there are other dangers it won’t protect you from. Hard drives can wear out and fail, while a laptop or tablet is vulnerable to more tangible risks, ranging from damage to theft. All these can lead to loss of data on a scale that could cripple a business, unless you have a back-up. These come in three broad types:
- Back-up to the hard drive. This will obviously be no good in the event of theft or total loss of the hard drive. It could be useful as a quick fix in the event of a partial loss of data, such as in a minor virus attack, but it would be dangerous to rely completely on it.
- Back-up to external hardware, such as CD’s, DVDs or USB memory sticks. These will obviously keep your data safe from crash or theft, but you may have imported a virus if you back up after infection. Discs are bulky to store, especially if you have large quantities of data, and all formats, like the computer, are just as much at risk of loss or theft.
- Remote back-up to a cloud. This is by far the most secure method, since the files are stored on a remote server, which will have a level of security rare on a desktop or laptop. This means not only that the data would survive even the complete destruction of your computer and be fully recoverable, but also that it would be safe from any virus your computer might suffer.
There’s certainly no harm in using all these methods. We’d strongly recommend, though, relying mainly on good cloud storage.
Nothing can prevent a breakdown, infection or loss of your computer being annoying. Having a good back-up system can prevent it being any more than a temporary inconvenience.