by Jason Dyck
(last updated August 31, 2017)
From email to movies, school reports to vacation plans, you keep a lot of important information on your computer. Keeping that data storage safe is an important step to peace of mind. Backing up your PC regularly can prevent you from losing everything in case of a virus, an accident, or a disaster.
One of the key principles is to have multiple backups: You should always have your information backed up in at least two places. Multiple copies help give you a better chance of recovering your data if something goes wrong.
There are two kinds of backup that you can use for your data storage: local backup and remote or off-site backup. I will explain a little about both.
This is the easiest way to get started backing up your data. All you have to do is make a copy of your data on a regular basis and you have already made an improvement in your security and peace of mind. Remember to keep at least one copy in some other physical location, whether it's a safe deposit box or at your neighbor's house. If your home or office burns down, an extra copy sitting on your desk next to the computer is not going to help you any. If you are running Windows Vista or Windows 7, there are applications built-in to help you to create backups of your data easily. In some versions, you can even set up scheduled, automatic backups so that you don't accidentally forget. Whether you use those tools or not, there are several ways you can backup your data storage in your own home or office.
This was once the option of choice for big companies and high rollers. Recently, though, online off-site backup is increasingly becoming an option that everyone can use. There are many services available to choose from; some of the bigger names in the business are Carbonite, Mozy, and SOS. These services will backup the files you choose in their own data storage system. Some are automated, some are not. Shop around a little to find one that meets your needs and your budget.
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