Give yourself peace of mind by implementing a new backup strategy with our tips.

Image: apinan/Adobe Stock

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when a digital file disappears? You immediately think, “Did I back this up? I have to have. Right?” Well, let’s take a look at the five best backup practices so we can avoid that feeling forever. A quick word of caution — make sure whatever backup methods you use are approved by your IT administrator.

SEE: The best backup software of 2022 (TechRepublic)

Top 5 Backup Best Practices

The 3-2-1 rule

We’ll start with the 3-2-1 rule. It states that you must have a total of three copies of your data stored on at least two different media, with at least one of the copies stored off-site.

Let’s break this down a bit. Whatever files you want to back up should be on two different drives: it could be two hard drives, flash drives, or even optical discs. These two devices can be physically located in the same location. So if you have an original on your desktop, that’s one copy. If you make a copy on a flash drive, that’s two copies on your desk as well.

A copy must reside somewhere else. This could mean sending a flash drive to an approved location or using cloud storage. This may seem far-fetched, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say, “I wish I didn’t back up this file.”

Automatic backup

Manually backing up your data is fine, but automating the process can give you more peace of mind. If you’re using macOS, you can automate backups using an external drive and Apple’s own Time Machine. Time Machine handles hourly backups for the last 24 hours, daily backups for the last month, and more.

What about Windows? This is a little less easy, but there is an option. You need to head to Control Panel and look for File History. You will need to turn it on and then you can select a device to back up to.

Cloud storage

Getting your data off-site might not be the easiest thing to do. Need to send copies of your files to your friends using regular mail? That’s stupid.

These days, you have a lot of options when it comes to cloud storage. You can use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, Apple iCloud and more. They all work in a similar way. You have a local folder on your PC or Mac. Whatever you put there is synced to a cloud storage service. But what if you want a complete backup of your computer to the cloud? Then things change a bit. For this, you can turn to services like Carbonite.

SEE: The best cloud backup services and solutions for 2022 (TechRepublic)

Interrupted repository

For files that don’t change constantly but are important, consider backing them up to a drive that you then unplug from your machine. Sure, it’s nice to have a hard drive that’s constantly backing up your stuff or a cloud service that’s uploading all the time. However, for added security, putting a file on a drive and then safely storing it on that drive ensures that the external media won’t be messed up due to computer or user error.

Autosave settings

Make sure your apps are auto-saved regularly. That’s right, I said apps. Let’s say you’re working in Adobe Premiere Pro, the video editing software. Did you know that Premiere Pro has a default autosave interval of 15 minutes? This means that if you are working and making changes, they may be lost if the application crashes. You can go into the Premiere settings and change this auto-save interval to one minute if you like.

Let me know what your favorite backup tricks are. Leave a comment or tweet me — it’s me @iyaz. See you online.

Top 5 best backup practices

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