Whether it's professional or private, the amount of data in IT is constantly increasing. However, with so much data, there is also the risk of losing all or part of it. The consequences of data loss can be painful: If, for example, the calendar and phone book are gone, daily organization becomes a problem. If the digital music collection is lost, high replacement costs can arise. And if digital mementos such as photos or videos disappear, it's sad. Learn how to avoid data loss and keep your private data safe in this article and downloadable infographic.
It's not just a defective hard drive that can cause data loss. Damage to smartphones, tablets or notebooks also poses the risk of data being lost unexpectedly. In addition, the theft of end devices such as smartphones, a house fire, a flood and other disasters have the potential to destroy one's own end devices, data carriers, paper copies and all backups in one fell swoop and for all time.
Multiple backups pay off
To ensure that all or at least the most important data can be restored in the event of a loss, it makes sense to store a backup copy not only locally, but also in another well-protected location. Privately, this can be stored in a safe deposit box or with friends or family members. You can exchange data media with them and bring an up-to-date backup with you whenever you visit them. This means that the data is backed up several times - on the user's own device, the local backup and the external backup.
In addition, it makes sense to include a device such as a smartphone, tablet or notebook, including a charging cable, with the storage medium for the backup. Then you can quickly access the data again even after a notebook theft - without having to rely on the opening hours of the electronics store.
Another important point is the storage of the data media. Good conditions should prevail in terms of climate and accessibility. A cold garage in winter or a hot attic in summer are not suitable storage locations. When storing in the cellar, it should be dry and the data medium should not be located near the floor or under a water-bearing pipe. When storing in the living area, the cabinet in the bedroom or study is more suitable than the one in the living room or hallway. In less busy areas, there is less risk of unauthorized people accidentally accessing the storage media.
Encryption of the backup protects against misuse of the data in the event of theft. It makes sense to include an unencrypted copy of the software needed for decryption in the current version with the encrypted archive. And if you use a password safe, it is best to secure it separately.
Update data media regularly
The form of data media and the way in which data is stored are constantly evolving. That is why it is important not to forget a backup once it has been created. Instead, you should regularly update the data and the storage media. If you also keep an eye on the amount of data and the available transfer speed, you can avoid the time required to create the backup becoming greater than the interval at which the backup should be created. Support is provided by a data carrier with a current interface (e.g. the latest USB version) or other modern technology. For example, SSD cards with storage sizes suitable for backups have become affordable and they are much faster than traditional external hard disks.
Automating backups only seems more costly at first glance than doing it manually. In the end, the one-time additional expense is worth it in the long run, because with an automatic backup there is no risk of it being forgotten or postponed. The latest versions of Windows, MacOS and many of the most popular Linux distributions already provide corresponding software support, as do iOS and Android. You can name the disk to the software as the storage location for the backup. The backup is performed at the desired interval or the system issues a warning if the card is not plugged into the computer.
An additional and worthwhile effort is a restore test. This involves simulating the loss of data and going through all the steps of the backup process once. This verifies that the backup can be restored without errors.
Efficient and simple: the cloud
In addition to storage options on local data carriers, there is an effective alternative for backup: the cloud. Here, the data is transferred to an external service provider and held by them. The great advantage is that the data is available via the Internet regardless of location and time. In addition, the provider itself stores it once again, so that it is doubly protected against threats and attacks. Here it is worth choosing a professional provider who stores the data securely and in compliance with the EU-DSGVO. The storage costs are manageable with a cloud service provider - especially compared to the costs of purchasing and regularly replacing your own data media.
Many service providers offer services that can be used to create an automatic backup after the software has been set up once. The scope of services often includes additional functions such as the automatic deletion of old backups to free up storage space, the encryption of data to increase security, or its compression to save storage resources.