March 31st, World Backup Day! Well, really every day should be Backup Day, but if you’ve been living on the edge, today is the day to back up and get a plan together to guard against potential mishaps. No one wants to live through a disaster like accidentally deleting most of Toy Story 2. (“Unplug the machine!”)
So, you’re ready to back it up – what steps should you take?
What’s Important To You?
First, identify what you need to back up. Stuff like your accounting data, important documents, and the photos of your cat, because be honest, those are the most important files on your computer. Seriously, back up anything you really don’t want to lose. For a business, you’re going to have financial data, legal data, customer information, a lot of information needed to operate and serve your customers. We also have important data at home, probably financial data also, documents, music, and photos that hold our precious memories (of our cats and other things).
Use The Rule Of Three
Then, determine the means and a schedule for backing up. A true backup strategy should use the “rule of three” for backups:
- Keep 3 copies of any important file – 1 primary and 2 backups
- Keep backups in 2 different formats/media types
- Keep (at least) 1 copy offsite
Some options are to back up important data to an external hard drive or network attached storage device, and also to a cloud service, such as BackBlaze, or using offsite storage such as OneDrive or Google Drive. If you store your primary copies in the cloud – for example, you may keep documents in Google Drive for your team to collaborate on, or use web-based email services – then consider backing up your cloud data in a secure location as well. If you have a website, your web files and database information also need to be backed up in multiple locations.
Test, Test, Is This Thing On?
Finally, test your backups! A backup does you no good if you can’t easily restore it, or worse, if it’s corrupted and you can’t retrieve the data you need. Remember the Colonial Pipeline debacle? When ransomware hit, Colonial Pipeline tried to restore using their backups, but operations stopped for days and they ended up paying an over $4M ransom to be able to get operations back online – and no one knows how much data was actually lost.
So there you have it, some tips to help you celebrate World Backup Day. Remember, backing up your data might not be the most thrilling activity, but it’s certainly one of the most important. So, take some time today to make sure your data is safe and secure. Happy World Backup Day!