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It’s World Backup Day on 31 March!

26 March 2018

Imagine if your computer suddenly crashed or was hit by malware, and you lost all your precious photos, home videos, documents and emails?

World Backup Day is all about regularly backing up your important files and data so you have a spare copy stored somewhere safe. It’s really quick and simple to do.

What are the options?

So how do you go about backing up your files? It’s easy: you can use external hard drives, an online service­—often referred to as cloud backup—or a combination of both.

You can backup mobile devices like smartwatches, tablets and smartphones to your computer.

Remember: Making any kind of backup reduces your risk of losing your data.

External hard drives

External hard drives protect your data on a physical device that’s separate to your computer.

Physically disconnecting your external hard drive from your computer when it's not in use helps keep your data safe, both from online attackers and power surges.

You can set external hard drives to back up automatically, and they will run regular backups on an hourly, daily or weekly basis. Using multiple external hard drives will help to ensure you always have at least one that is not connected to your computer at all times.

How you backup your digital content on a hard drive depends on your operating system:

  • Apple: connect the external drive, launch Time Machine and click the ‘Backup Now’ button.
  • Windows 10: Go to ‘Settings, Update & Security’, select ‘Backup’ and ‘Add a drive’. Once set up, Windows 10 will back up everything in your user folder, every hour.

Online backups

Online or cloud backups let you store your data online so you can access it at any time from any internet connected device.

Online backups are great if you don’t want to have to think about backing up your files; once set up, almost all online solutions automatically backup and protect all of your computer’s files. 

Online backups also mean your data is stored away from your home or office, so if you get hit by a natural disaster or theft, your data is safe.

The cloud has some major benefits, but don’t forget to set a strong password on your account, enable two-factor authentication, and always read the terms of service and privacy policy carefully. If your data is sensitive, consider avoiding public cloud storage.

In general, getting started with an online backup service looks like this:

  • buy an online backup plan
  • install the provided software on your computer
  • tell the software what drives, folders, and/or files you want to keep backed up.

More information

For more information see backups.  

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