Keep Old Time Machine Backups Or Reformat And Backup New A Self-Publisher’s Guide to Computer Data Backup

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A Self-Publisher’s Guide to Computer Data Backup

Protecting your computer’s data files is something every self-publisher should know and deal with before it’s too late. It is not a complicated or expensive process. It can be as simple as having an external hard drive and using cloud storage. No special knowledge or fancy equipment is needed. And, the process is very easy to automate. It is essential that you keep the booking process simple and automatic. It is also essential to create multiple copies, both onsite and offsite. Here is an overview of how we do this in our office.

Using an external drive for data backup

We started by using an external hard drive in our office. This is the most basic and easiest way to protect your data located on your internal hard drive. A branded 3TB hard drive now costs $120. Be sure to buy a larger hard drive than you currently need. But don’t overdo it. Right now this 3TB is a good price. Over time, even the largest drives will come down in price. Another reason not to buy too many is that hard drives don’t last forever. Buy only what you need now and then upgrade to a newer, larger unit when you need it. We bought an external USB hard drive that is only 5 inches x 7 inches x 1.5 inches. This small size gives you an easy way to put the hard drive in your safe or vault, or take it with you on your business vacations.

Using multiple external drives for data backup

Now we use a lot of external hard drives. They are installed together and work as a unit within a storage box. This way we can store a large amount of data on multiple drives that are all stored inside a small desktop case. Even if one or two drives fail, we’d still have a few more that still work. Again, just buy a big-name storage box and a big-name external hard drive to put in it.

Using cloud storage for data backup

Storing your data online is called “cloud storage”. You should consider using cloud storage because it’s a safe and easy way to store your files away from your office – where they can’t be stolen from your office, lost or burned in a fire. There are many cloud storage companies, and they are all easy to find online. Many of them offer 2GB or 5GB of free storage. There are also many reviews and comparisons of various services online. Some companies will even automatically back up your data to an external hard drive and, at the same time, to the cloud. Play it safe and choose one of the big name cloud storage companies to handle your business.

How do I find a cloud storage company?

There are many cloud storage companies, and they are all easy to find online. There are many reviews and comparisons of different services online. Some will even automatically back up your data to an external hard drive and also to the cloud. Play it safe and choose one of the big name companies to deal with.

Isn’t cloud backup dangerous?

Your data will be stored in an encrypted format when it is backed up to the cloud at the storage company, which should prevent a hacker from easily accessing your information. If you need a higher level of security, you can use your own private encryption key to further reduce potential exposure to data tampering. The chances of a server like Apple’s, Amazon’s or Google’s going down are far less than the chance of your hard drive or local backup failing.

Work Away From Home/Office

If you’re away from your home/business computer and using your laptop, email yourself the document you’re working on. Also save it to your laptop’s internal hard drive and flash drive. A good rule of thumb is that you should never keep extremely sensitive data on your laptop. Keep it on your flash drive and in the cloud. We carry a few flash drives with us when we’re on holiday – and keep them in our pockets for safekeeping. Flash drives are very cheap – so buy and use some. We bought 3 brand name 8GB flash drives for under $20.

Do I need to encrypt my hard drives?

For most purposes, encrypting your computer or hard drive is not necessary. Encryption is only necessary for extremely sensitive data – like your patients’ medical records. If you encrypt a backup, you will add unnecessary complexity to a process that is designed to simplify and maintain quick access to your information. With this added complexity comes the increased probability of a problem. Therefore, the possibility of you losing access to your backed up data increases. Do yourself a favor and make sure you understand when and why you might need to encrypt your backups, and think about how you’ll guarantee you’ll have access to your encryption password when it matters. Encrypting data will cost you a lot of time, money and aggravation.

What computer data should I back up?

At a minimum, you should back up everything except the software applications. Any data that is necessary for the operation of your business should be backed up. Most software is easy to replace and generally not too expensive.

What about our websites, blogs, mailing lists and online publications?

All of these are absolutely essential to keep your self-publishing business running and thriving. Fortunately, each of them already has a built-in backup. We keep multiple backups on multiple hard drives here in our office as well as in the cloud. All our websites and blogs are also hosted by the hosting company. Our hosting company also sends us a backup by email. Our mailing lists are hosted by an online mailing list company. The list can be easily downloaded from the mailing list company. We also keep a copy of it on our computers and hard drives. All our online publications (ebooks and documents) also have full copies with the companies that sell our publications.

Conclusion

By having a simple backup plan that uses both online data backups and multiple external drives, you’re providing yourself with foolproof security in the event that your computer’s hard drive crashes or your system is destroyed by a fire. or flooding. Don’t risk losing your important files forever when you can quickly and inexpensively avoid that mess with a triple data backup plan. And never forget: don’t put all your faith in one method over another. Internal hard drives, external drives, and flash drives can fail. Even your cloud storage company can fail – go out of business, get hacked, or their software on your computer can fail.

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