It seems like backing up should be an obvious daily activity in this technology-dependent world of business where one spilled latte can destroy months of data. With such a simple slip up constantly on the horizon, backing up your data should be the last thing you do each day to ensure that whatever happens, you will not be backtracking and re-doing work.
There are many different options for backing up, all manufactured to be user friendly. The best methods sit independently of your computer; outside vessels which can be saved in the event that your computer crashes.
External hard drives with software are the most reliable. They plug directly into your computer so you can run a back up using software programs. You then need to disconnect the device and store it in a safe place because even minimal damage to the drive can cause the data to be compromised. External hard drives, however, are not the sleekest design and can be difficult for commuting and remote work.
If you work from different computers or locations, a USB flash drive is both convenient and simple to use. USBs are best used for transporting backs-ups of important presentations or data that you might want to have on hand at all times. However, being small and convenient can also be the pitfall of these storage devices – they are easily lost, and with them, the stored data.
“Reduce the risk of a complete technology meltdown.”
The current trend is online back up services. What computer-savvy folks are now calling the “pinnacle of file protection’’ is so far considered to be the most easy-to-use and safe method available. Storing your files and data online safeguards it from viruses that might attack your system, as well as crashes and coffee spills.
Online back up services set up automatic reminders to keep you backing up constantly and can be accessed from anywhere, on any computer with an internet connection. Move easily from home to the office and have important documents available in a secure and safe location at both sites, minimizing the need to transport your laptop everywhere you go.
Services such as DropBox and Mozy Home offer up to 2GB of storage for free then up to 50GB for a low monthly fee, while Carbonite offers unlimited storage for just dollars a month. The downside of the sites is that they take an extraordinarily long time: running the initial back up on your entire machine could take anything from a few days to a month. But the subsequent backups take less time and often work in the background, backing files up as you save them.
With so many options, it is becoming easier to back up your device. Incorporate this task into your everyday ’to do’ list and reduce the risk of a complete technology meltdown.
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