We are living in the era of everything digital which makes it wonderfully easy to store and retrieve our data. This convenience also introduces a new risk of loss. Not only do you have to worry about fire, flood or theft (like you do for traditional paper based information), but also about your info getting stollen, hijacked or deleted because of drive failure, virus' or hijacking trojans.
Remember the 3-2-1 rule
This is a simple way to remember the right way to backup and protect your data.
- You should always have 3 copies of your important data. This means one primary (aka the one you use on a daily basis) and 2 copies as backups.
- You should always have your backups on 2 different types of media (one of your backups can be to an external hard disk while the other one should be to another type of media like DVD disk or to an online service).
- You should always store 1 copy of your data to "somewhere else". This is to ensure recoverability in case you house or business experience a natural disaster. Now in most cases, this can be one of the popular online backup services or it can simply be you manually storing the media in another location like your office, a bank vault or leaving it in a friends house. To be extra careful, it is recommended to built-in some distance between you and the offsite backup in case a natural disaster eats a good part of your city.
Data backup is like life insurance, it is easy to forget or discount its importance until you need it. But usually its too late (at that point) and you sulk in the knowledge that critical data is gone forever.