If you use the Internet in any capacity, then you fall into one of two categories: you’re either someone who has lost critical data, or you’re someone who will. Yes, it sounds pessimistic, but that is the nature of Web use. If you use the Internet long enough, then at some point you’re going to fall victim to data loss either in the form of a malware attack, data corruption or through physical theft or damage to hardware.
The obvious solution is to create a backup copy of everything either into a separate, external medium like a flash drive or via cloud storage. Even though creating a backup only takes seconds, it’s a step that too many people neglect. Instead of a “better safe than sorry” mindset, most seem to take on an “it can never happen to me” attitude. Too often, these people learn their lesson the hard way.
Start with Your Word Documents and PDFs
Text Documents are the easiest to preserve due to the minimal space they consume. Even if you have a decade’s worth of these documents stored in multiple folders, the combined storage it consumes probably only adds up to a few hundred MB. Everything can be stored in a flash drive or through a free online storage service. With the latter, you can quickly sync selected files into the cloud and back again should need be.
Photos, Music and Videos
With smartphones and tablets so commonplace these days, people love to snap photos and videos at even the most mundane things. How often have you seen social media users upload photos of their dinner or even some random object found on the sidewalk? Nevertheless, these photos as well as the ones you take with your family and friends are priceless and irreplaceable. Don’t make the mistake of merely snapping photos and unloading them on your PC; add a cloud backup to the mix. Consider services like Pogoplug or SugarSync, which provide free apps for the Android and IOS that automatically backup your photos taken from your mobile.
Your music probably isn’t the most important thing to back up. After all, whatever music you have in your library can likely be found on YouTube or other music stream site. Some are even ditching their music library altogether in favor of all-you-can-stream services like Spotify and Rdio.
Backing Up Your Calendar and Contacts List
Most people already have their contacts and calendars backed up without even realizing it. iPhones, for example, have the iCloud feature that can be enabled and will automatically sync data into the cloud. Similarly, most devices as well as sites like Gmail and Facebook have their own features where users can organize a contact list and create a scheduled calendar.
Don’t Forget to Back up Your Email
Perhaps you have dozens of business emails that you need to preserve or maybe there was a series of email exchanges you shared with a significant other that you treat as precious digital mementos. There are multiple reasons that can attribute to lost email. This includes accidental deletion or having your entire inbox wiped clean by a hacker, the latter of which is common among business emails. Most cloud services have a one-click email backup feature.
Cloud Services to Consider
SpinBackup – If you use multiple Google apps, such as Google Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks and Photos, then this is the cloud service designed exclusively for your needs. SpinBackup uses OAuth 2.0, the most secure application programming interface developed by Google itself. It also uses Amazon S3 to store your backup, which you will be able to retrieve at any time even if Google is down. Lastly, the service accesses your account using a 256 bit SSL secure certificate. This is the same security certificate used by institutions where security matters above all else, such as banking and retail institutions.
Mozy – This cloud service takes its security seriously, as is evident with its ISO 27001 certification and SOC 1 SSAE 16 Type 2 audit. In layman’s terms, this means that the company has been rigorously audited and has the credentials to back it up. All files are backed up via 256-bit AES key - the very same encryption used by the US military. Mozy’s award-winning cloud backup services are available for personal use, local businesses and large enterprises on the corporate level.
Just Cloud – With Just Cloud, users benefit from unlimited cloud storage, 100% unlimited backups and the ability to share your files anytime and anywhere with friends through your email or social media accounts. In addition, its drag and drop feature allows individual files to be synced straight to all your devices. Just Cloud can also map the exact location of your laptop, allowing for tracking and retrieval in the event it is lost or stolen.
A cloud service is like insurance; it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. It goes without saying that you’re going to be pulling your hair out of your head if you neglect to back up your service and something goes wrong.