The tragic and all-too-common story of data loss is the stuff of nightmares for computer users everywhere. Whether it’s a result of human error, natural disaster, or malicious attack, data loss can be an extremely costly experience. In this post, we explore some of the most common causes of data loss and discuss five types of backups that could help protect your digital assets from total ruin.
What’s the most common cause of data loss?
One of the most common causes of data loss is an attack by malware or other malicious software such as hackers or viruses. As computers become more connected, cyber criminals are finding more and more ways to break into systems, steal data, and destroy hard drives. Attacks such as ransomware, where hackers encrypt your data and offer to unlock it for a fee, are becoming more common. Human error is another cause of data loss, particularly when it comes to data on computer servers, which can be accidentally deleted or lost. Natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and floods can also cause damage to data centers, as well as the networks connecting that data to the rest of the world. Electrical surges, fires, and water can all be fatal to computers and storage devices. And even if none of these things happen, hard drives are mechanical devices with a finite lifespan and will eventually break or become too full to be usable.
Types of backups – Which one is best for you?
There are five types of backups; these include cloud-based backup, network storage device (NAS), Dropbox and other cloud storage services, external hard drive, and creating a backup copy on another computer. Each type of backup has its own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look at each one in more detail.
Cloud-based backup – This is perhaps the most talked about type of backup today. One of the biggest benefits of cloud-based backups is that you can use it to back up data from any device. Another benefit is that most cloud-based backup solutions provide off-site storage, which means that your data is not only backed up but also stored in a remote location.
NAS – Network storage devices (NAS) are basically specialized computers that let you access your data remotely using a web browser or an application. The benefit of NAS is that it lets you back up multiple computers, but it’s important to remember that data on NAS is less secure than with cloud-based backups.
Dropbox and other cloud storage services – Using cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive is similar to creating a cloud-based backup, except that the files are not actually getting transferred to the cloud.
External hard drive – This is perhaps the oldest and most common type of backup. External hard drives come in different sizes and are pretty cheap nowadays.
Dropbox and other Cloud Storage Services
Cloud storage services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive are very popular ways to share files online. While they might not be the best choice if you’re looking for an off-site backup, they can be a great way to share large files, such as family photos, between computers and devices. The biggest advantage of cloud-based storage services is that they’re easy to use. You can quickly send large files between computers and devices, and access them from any location. Cloud-based storage services usually offer free or very cheap entry-level plans, making them relatively accessible. You should be careful about storing critical or sensitive data in the cloud, as it might not be as secure as you think. While most cloud providers promise to protect your data, security breaches do happen, and you should choose a provider that has good track record.
External Hard Drive
You can use an external hard drive to create multiple backups of your most important files. The advantage of an external hard drive is that it’s portable and you can store it in a safe location, such as a fireproof safe, bank safe deposit box, or in a safety deposit box. The main disadvantage of using an external hard drive is that it’s not very convenient to use. You will have to plug it into a computer to access your files, and this process might be slow if your external hard drive is USB 2.0. Many people use external hard drives to create a backup copy of their computer’s hard drive. You can do this by plugging the external hard drive into your computer and copying the entire drive to it. External hard drives are cheap compared to computer hard drives. This is why many people use them to store their computer’s operating system and application data.
This post explores some of the most common causes of data loss and discusses five types of backups that could help protect your digital assets from total ruin. Cloud-based backup, network storage device (NAS), Dropbox and other cloud storage services, external hard drive, and creating a backup copy on another computer are the five types of backups you can use to protect your data.