Financial Tips

The Importance of Backing Up your Computer

Are you backing up your important computer files at home?

Ransomware, malware and even a hard drive failure can strike at any time, and without backups you could lose photos, financial documents, and other essential files forever. A great way to help keep your files safe is to find two options and use them simultaneously.

  • Flash drives are cheap and easy to use, but they have some drawbacks. It may take multiple USB drives to store all of the data you want to back up, and they are small and easily misplaced.
  • External hard drives offer more storage options and durability while maintaining portability. Most important, however, is the ability to schedule regular backups. Apple and Windows users can schedule what to back up and how often. This process runs without you having to think about it. Plus, external drives are fairly affordable.
  • Cloud storage is another option. This allows you to back up your files to online servers that are accessed with an Internet connection. These files are encrypted, and many companies keep backups, so if something happens to one copy, another might still be available. It also gives you a copy of your files offsite, in case of fire, flood, or other disaster. While cloud storage can take some of the responsibility off your shoulders, it’s not foolproof. Data breaches can happen, as well as service outages or malware.
  • If storing your data in the cloud makes you uncomfortable, you could use a Network-Attached Storage device. Basically, it’s a cloud server that lives in your home and connects to all the devices on your home network. With an NAS, your data never leaves your house. The downside is that they can be costly and difficult to set up.

Remember, whatever you choose, pick at least two different options and use them at the same time. So take some time to identify which files are most important to you, research the type of storage that best meets your needs, and then start making backups before it’s too late.

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