World Backup Day Is March 31, How Do You Protect Your Data?

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March 31 is World Backup Day, an initiative to raise awareness about data loss and spread the word about the importance of regular backups.

It is said that only 25% of computer users back up data, while over 50% will experience some sort of data loss. With hard drives getting less expensive and backup software getting easier to use all the time, a solid backup solution is within reach of anyone, regardless of technical expertise.

Lots of people remember backups as a long complicated process, but with the advent of Time Machine from Apple, it's as simple as picking up a reasonably sized hard drive, plugging it in, and telling Time Machine where to find it. With Mountain Lion and Mavericks, it is possible to set up multiple Time Machine backups, like one at home and another at someone else's house, or at work.

A basic solution for backing up usually consists of two separate locations, that way if your backup is damaged or compromised you still have the other one. My setup is a Time Machine backup to a hard drive that lives on my desk, and a full duplicate copy of my hard drive on an external disk that lives in another location and gets updated about once a month or so. Losing an entire month's work, while frustrating, is still better than losing everything! I have additional insurance by using cloud syncing to access certain files on my iOS devices.

Keep in mind that backups mean backing up all your data, not just the drive in your computer. Consider for a moment what would happen if your external hard drive crashed. Or that secondary hard drive with all your photos/music/video on it, should it fail, do you have any way to get up and running again with all the files you need?

If you have an easy solution in place, or have questions about how to get started, leave a comment! (I actually enjoy reading other people's workflows, it usually helps mine improve.)

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Lee Dronick

TimeMachine, and occasional mirror backups using Carbon Copy Cloner, some important files are also put on DVD. iCloud of course.

See today’s Joy of Tech comic


I wonder if there is any connection between today, March 31, being Backup Day and tomorrow, April 1, being All Fools Day?

Are the Fools the ones who, on the morning after, failed to heed this simple reminder to do what we should all be doing regularly anyway?  smile

I remember even reading David Pogue one time who wrote a column about how he had failed to back up a hard drive and it crashed…David Pogue!  And with Murphy’s Law not yet repealed, you can almost bet it will happen to you at the most inopportune time.  Not that there is ever a good time…

Doc Rock

Carbon Copy Cloner image of my SSD, Superduper copy yo my Drobo and Backblaze

Abel Jeffcoat

In my “PC” days, I remember backing up to a tape drive. In today’s climate, I have a time machine backup and looking at cloud solutions.

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