You’re a busy professional, sometimes too busy to remember routine little chores. You put them off until tomorrow, and then the next day, and then the next. You’re always promising yourself you’ll get around to backing up important data… but it never quite happens. But deep down, you know you need to do it. So maybe you try to do a few little backup maneuvers to appease those little nagging voices in the back of your head.
Well, here’s the bad news: If you’re doing any of the following to backup your information, you’re doing it wrong, and you could suffer some serious regret one day:
- Backing up your laptop to an SD card… and then storing the SD card in your laptop. Remember, if the laptop is damaged or stolen, your backup is gone, too.
- Backing up files to an external drive… which is located half a foot from your computer. If there’s a fire in your office, there goes your backup. If burglars steal your computer, they’ll probably take the external drive too.
- Copying a file to another folder. Again, it’s still in your computer. This is not a safe way to back up important files.
- Considering the pictures that are still in your camera memory as being “backed up”. Nope – that camera can be lost, stolen, or damaged, and there go all of your photos.
These are all common mistakes that many well-intentioned people make. They think they’ve backed up their files and photos well enough, and yet one day everything is lost. It can be devastating on a personal level, and spell ruin for you on a business level.
So how do you back up important information properly? One good rule is to make not two, but three copies of anything important. At least one of these copies should be stored off-site, meaning not in an external drive which sits on your desk next to your computer. And whatever you do, remember to write down passwords and store them safely in a fireproof, locked box. There are a variety of situations in which you could forget passwords, and you could end up locked out of any online backup system you’ve been using.