People use computers and other smart devices to store documents, memories and other information that needs to be kept for a long period of time. Data is important that’s why it is crucial to protect it. To protect your data, you need to implement a daily back-up routine and recovery plan. Backing-up data can protect against accidental data loss, database corruption, hardware failures and natural disasters. The best way to protect your data is through back-ups done consistently and in timely manner. Develop a daily back-up routine schedule to ensure your entire system is protected. You can back-up your data on internal drive, external drive, USB, DVD and cloud. Backing-up will ensure your data is safe over a period of many years.
The basic types of back-ups include:
Full back-up – all files are selected for back-up regardless of archive attribute. Full back-up should be performed whenever a major change is made to the system, especially after operating system update.
Incremental back-up – creating a copy of all files that has changed since a previous back-up. It is done more often than full back-up.
Differential back-up – creating copies of files that has changed since the last normal back-up. It contains all the data that have change since the last full back-up.
Determine what assets you need to back-up and their location before creating a daily back-up routine.
Workstations – back-up your organisation’s computers. Most users store their data in the documents folders, desktop folder, program directories. Locate where your email messages, calendar and contact information are stored. If you have an extensive bookmark collection in your browser, back that up as well.
Servers – conduct a full back-up of your server before updating so you have a way to restore the entire drive. If your business uses an in-house email server, include that in your back-up plan. If you host your own email, check you manual for information. If mails are stored locally and not on the mail server, back-up the mail folder on each computer.
Home computers – if one or more of your employees are working from home, their data should be a part of your regular back-up strategy. You can use remote back-up services to install a client on home computers for backup. Work performed at home should be saved on shared storage solution daily.
Mobile devices – back-up your critical data stored on your mobile devices. Use your mobile device to access and store copies of important files. If internet is down, you can use cellular network to retrieve critical files from cloud storage. Study the device’s manual for back-up instructions and encryption.
Website – back-up your website to ensure a professional website presence. Ask your web hosting provider if they perform regular back-up. Keep a copy of your website on your office computer even if your provider does routine back-up.
After determining what data you’re going to back-up, you can now select back-up devices and media that support your choice. You can back-up your data on individual USB stick, CDs, an external drive or cloud storage. The device must be capable of storing all the data you need to back-up. Ideally the back-up device size should at least be twice the capacity you are trying to back-up. Online storage solution both free and paid like BackBlaze, Carbonite, SOS Online Backup and many others offer variety of services. Online back-up solutions come with software that allows you to set what you want to back-up and how often. Set a back-up schedule that works for you it can be daily, weekly or monthly depending on how often you use your computer. You can also automate your back-up process to make sure you will not forget to keep your data safe. Windows backup tool, Ocster, GoodSync and PC Disc Tool are some of the special software solutions you can use to save time.
A good back-up routine clearly defines when you should back-up particular data to have them available when you need it. Schedule your back-up during the time that you are not using your computer because it can take up significant amount of time and bandwidth. The rules for creating safe data back-up routine include:
- Back-up your data regularly
- Automate the back-up process
- Save your data on different mediums
- Keep you back-up in remote locations
Example of Weekly Full Backup Schedule with Daily Differential Backup
Monday – perform full backup
Tuesday – perform differential backup containing all changes since Monday
Wednesday – perform differential backup containing all changes since Monday
Thursday – perform differential backup containing all changes since Monday
Friday – perform differential backup containing all changes since Monday
Saturday – perform differential backup containing all changes since Monday
Sunday – perform differential backup containing all changes since Monday
Example of Weekly Full Backup Schedule with Daily Incremental Backup
Monday – perform full backup
Tuesday – perform incremental backup containing changes since Monday
Wednesday – perform incremental backup containing changes since Tuesday
Thursday – perform incremental backup containing changes since Wednesday
Friday – perform incremental backup containing changes since Thursday
Saturday – perform incremental backup containing changes since Friday
Sunday – perform incremental backup containing changes since Saturday
Systems with rapidly changing files and large databases may need to do incremental back-up hourly or several times a day.