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Why Backup is Important: It Protects You and Your Data

Learn why backup is important and how to do it easily.

Our devices – phones, tablets, and computers – are important to us. But when you think about it, it’s not really the device we care about, it’s the data we store on it. Essential work documents, important photos, our (or our children’s) homework, the information for how to actually pay our less-frequent bills, contact information for people we need to be able to reach … it’s all stored on our devices. What happens to it when something goes wrong with your device? In the best-case scenario, you’ve lost irreplaceable sentimental photos and files. At the worst, you’re in trouble at work, no longer have anyone’s contact information, and have lost essential financial information. That’s why backup is important – it can save your data in case of disaster.

What is a Backup?

A backup is essentially a copy of everything on your device. This copy is stored in a secure location somewhere separate from the device. This could be a cloud storage solution or on a hard drive in a physical location. Some poele prefer one way or the other, and some have both. The key is that the backup includes everything on the device.

Some people think it’s a lot of wasted effort to do all of that – especially since backups should be done at regular intervals to keep up with changes and updates to your data. But where it really becomes clear why backup is important is when something happens to a device. If it’s stolen, if it dies, if it’s damaged or destroyed, or even if it’s hit with ransomware, the backup is available with copies of your files and other data so you haven’t lost it.

Why Backup is Important for Everyone

There are a lot of risks to devices out in the world. You probably know of someone who has, at one point, dropped their phone in a toilet or in a body of water, or spilled something onto their laptop. You may even have been that person. It’s really difficult to get data off a water-damaged device. And that’s assuming, if you dropped it into a body of water, you can get it back at all.

What about if it were stolen? You can’t get data off a device you don’t have. And hackers attack someone, on average, every 39 seconds. Ransomware attacks specifically lock away your files until you pay the hacker. If you don’t or can’t pay, you won’t get access again. Viruses or other types of attacks could destroy your device, corrupt your files, or even require a complete wipe (including deleting all your data) to fix.

And then there’s random accidents. A storm could cause a power surge that fries your device. It could get destroyed in a fire or flood. You or someone else could drop it or knock it off something and cause a lot of damage. Or it could just experience some sort of glitch or hardware issues and just die.

The point is, there are lots of ways for a device to get damaged. And if something happens to it, there’s no guarantee that you, or even an expert, will be able to recover any of your files or data. It can be expensive even to have someone try. What happens to all of your work, important information, and treasured memories at that point? Without a backup, it’s gone. But if you have a backup, it’s all still available.

Scenarios where Backup is Important

Consider a few scenarios where a backup is valuable.

Scenario 1: Ransomware. Maybe you or someone using the device clicked on the wrong link; maybe a hacker inserted it into a perfectly legitimate program. Whatever the reason, you’re now locked out. The criminal won’t let you back in until you pay up. If you don’t have a backup, you have two options: Pay or lose everything that was on that device. If you have a backup, you can wipe the device to get rid of the ransomware, then restore from your backup. Your data is safe and you didn’t have to pay.

Scenario 2: Theft. Someone pickpocketed your phone. Your laptop got swiped. A burglar broke in and took your computer along with your other valuables. Now what? You can file a police report, but you can’t get data off a device you don’t have. If you have a backup, you still have access to whatever was on that device. If you don’t, it’s gone for good.

Scenario 3: Bad weather. A storm causes a power surge, and it fries all your devices that were plugged in at the time. It will be inconvenient and expensive to replace all of them. But what about your data? If you have a backup, you can install it on the new device and move on. If you don’t, you’re looking at a bill from an expert repair person, and they may not be able to salvage anything.

These scenarios and more happen every day to people just like you and me. Even the most cautious of people are vulnerable to the whims of nature and unpredictable accidents. If you have anything you want to be able to keep even if something happens to your device, you need backups.

Stress Less with a Backup Service

Hopefully you know understand why backup is important to protect your files and information in case of disaster. But how do you do that? If you’re not tech-savvy, it can feel daunting.

Some people assume that since they do everything through Dropbox or Google Drive, they’re backed up. But it takes a bit of tech acumen to make sure it’s fully set up to protect everything. Is it backing up all your devices, or just a few? What about folders like your downloads? These services may not back up the photos on your phone unless you manually change the settings. Do you know how many of your files are local (stored only on that device) and how many are not? Do you know how to tell?

If all of that sounds way too complicated, here’s the truth: It is possible to cobble together your own backups by using a variety of services and adjusting your settings. But it doesn’t have to be that complicated. Backup services exist to make backing up your data as easy as possible. Many of them don’t require any input from you after the initial setup, and they make restoring any lost data as easy as clicking a few buttons. Plus, since backups are their business, they know what needs to be done to keep your files safe and secure.

The reason why backup is important is that your files and data are important. If something happens to your device, you don’t want to lose everything. It is possible to do manual backups and still be perfectly safe. But it’s much easier to let a pro handle everything all in one.

You know backup is important, so you want to get a backup service that will keep your data as secure as possible. Which one should you choose? We recommend one of the three listed below. Read through their different features and options and choose which one will work best for your situation. The key is to pick one and actually set it up. Your files are important – protect them against the possibility of something happening to your device.

IDrive

IDrive

Supports: Windows 7 and newer, Mac 10.11 El Capitain and higher, iOS, Android, and Linux (Linux is a command-line-only version, and you must email support to get access)

IDrive does everything you want in a backup service. It gives you the option to back up your information to the cloud, or to a copy on an external hard drive. If you want to be extra secure, you can do both. You can set up a backup schedule to run without your input. That way you never lose data because you forgot to run a scheduled backup. It even has the option to backup near-continuously, so file changes are backed up almost immediately. And the mobile app that backs up your phone also lets you download any file you have backed up to the cloud for easy access.

NordLocker

NordLocker

Supports: Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS (Android and iOS support is browser-based)

The company that brought you NordVPN wants to protect your data from hackers and disasters as well as prying eyes online, so they offer backup services through NordLocker. They automate your backups, because as the company says, “You may forget to make a backup, but the cloud won’t.” They keep your data safe in the cloud, and make it incredibly easy to restore it if something happens. And on top of that, they use end-to-end encryption to keep your backed-up data extra secure.

Sync

Sync.com

Supports: Windows XP through 11, Mac 10.6 Snow Leopard through 13 Ventura, Android, iOS

Though Sync does limit you to only backing up 5 devices, it’s one of the very few backup services that supports older operating systems like Windows XP. Sync’s apps are easy to use and very straightforward. The service backs up everything to the cloud in real time, so you never have to worry about losing any of your data. And they even allow rollbacks to previous file versions. So if a file is corrupted or damaged, or you just made a change you want to undo, it’s easy to fix.

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