When looking to protect yourself online and electronically, one of the most important things for you to do is to back up your data. Backing up your data can save you from many different headaches, and sometimes is the only thing that will protect you from some inevitable happenings. Here are a few major reasons to make sure that all of your data is backed up.
First, backing up your data can protect you from the negative effects of malware. While it will not help you much if your data is stolen or there is spyware, it will absolutely help you in the event that the malware attacks either your data or your computer. For example, some viruses will do things like destroy your windows installation, making your computer inoperable. Additionally, malware such as ransomware can attack your files directly, encrypting them and asking that you pay a ransom in order to retrieve them. However, if your files are backed up, you can simply wipe the machine, and reinstall all of the files which are saved elsewhere.
Secondly, backing up your data can help you to avoid the results of catastrophic hardware failure. For example, I recently had a machine experience complete hard drive failure. All mechanical components eventually fail, and hard drives are no exception. In this case, many of my work files and personal projects were stored on the hard drive, and I had no way to retrieve them without an incredibly time consuming and expensive data recovery progress. The files were not worth anywhere near the cost to recover them. Thankfully, all of my important files were backed up, and so after installing a new hard drive, I could pick up right where I left off with no interruption.
When backing up your data, there are several options, and you should consider them depending on your situation. Two of the most common backup options are using physical media to store your files and other information, or using the cloud. Physical media is safe, in that you can be confident that the files are secure against intrusion or security breach. As long as you can hold onto the physical media carrying the backup, your files cannot be stolen. However, backup media is not indestructible. Whether it is a hard drive, USB stick, or a disc, all physical storage elements can break. If this happens, then your backup is useless. Secondly, you can back up to the cloud. Finding online storage for your computers can make it quite simple to frequently back up your system and store any new data. However, in this case it is important to make sure that the backup destination is secure.