Backups are one of the often overlooked and underrated measures that can assist greatly with computer security. Backup and recovery are essential to any computer user as the act of simply backing up documents or important files saves countless hours of frustration and stress.
In practice though little thought is put towards proper backup and recovery practices.
Depending on your computer’s operating system there are different ways to handle backing up critical files. The most utilised functionality for personal backups is typically an external USB drive, which copies of critical data are manually stored on and that is an excellent start. But, what about the security of that external USB drive? Is it utilized for other purposes? Is the backup drive kept separate, so if a laptop is stolen the backup drive is not taken with it? These are all important aspects that need to be considered. What follows are some basic tips for when you backup data.
- Back it up or lose it forever. We have all “been there and done that” when it comes to losing files on a computer system when it fails, because we were not as diligent as we should have been in regards to backups.
- Test your recovery procedures once every 3 months. While you may have manually copied files to a backup drive and the operating system has said it has been backed up successfully, it is common for hard drives and external storage devices to malfunction and potentially corrupt documents, so a quick check is always recommended. If utilising an automatic backup solution it is recommended to check monthly, as while the system says it has completed successfully this may not always be the case.
- Protect your backup devices. Backup drives have a habit of being stored with the laptop or device they are backing up, so when a laptop is stolen the backup drive goes with it. It is strongly recommended that backup drives are not utilised for other purposes or even stored with the laptop and are left in a secure location at home.