The last day of March has been reserved for backup day. Is the legendary backup really that important to dedicate a specific day in the calendar for it? It is possible that up to 25% of electronic device owners do not regularly back up the data they have on such a device. What’s more, even if we do take the step of backing up, it’s often due to an emergency need to set up new hardware or secure the devices we already use. It is important of getting into the habit of making backups, bearing in mind that it is a reasonable form of cyber prevention.
World Backup Day is over 10 years old
World Backup Day was celebrated for the first time in 2011. So this will be the 11th time that the essence of backup is celebrated. Why is backup so important? First of all, for your own safety. A backup will prevent you from losing important documents or priceless photos, which can be lost due to a computer crash or system infection, or even by accidentally deleting files. Let your imagination run wild with the fact that over 50,000 computers can crash every year. Remember, too, that such crashes are a potentially irreversible cause of loss of sensitive data. Backup should also not be overlooked in the context of smartphones. According to the World Backup Day website, as many as 113 such devices are stolen or lost every other minute. The numbers are impressive and should make us aware that the data we store on our computer or smartphone is exposed to various types of threats. So, think of a data backup as the bedrock of your digital disaster recovery plan.
How do we most often protect our data?
Data that is important to us is most often simply copied to an external drive in the form of e.g. pendrive. According to research conducted by SW Research as many as 43% of people securing their data use this method. An external hard drive is also a common choice and is used by 36% of people. The use of free clouds such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive or iCloud is also quite common. Paid clouds are already much less popular.
Other options are also used, such as copying data to a second drive located at the same computer. Optical media such as CDs, Bluerays and DVDs are still a common choice. Transferring data to private file servers is relatively rare.
What principles should be followed while creating a backup?
One of the rules that is not necessarily followed is the one related to the number of copies to be made. It is recommended to have at least three copies, which will be located on two different devices or media. It is also crucial that one of these copies should be on a device that is offline. In case of ransomware, the access to our system will be blocked or we will not be able to read the data, and then the software will demand a ransom from us.
Are there different types of backup?
The concept of backup is relatively broad. Even more so in the current reality, in which we have access to many types of media, both offline and online, that allow us to store data. Backup can therefore be divided into three types:
- full backup – this type of backup is a full backup of the data you have. If an error or system failure occurs, thanks to a backup created in this way, we can restore the state of the system before the occurrence of undesirable events. It is worth remembering, however, that this type of backup usually requires a large disk space,
- incremental backup – on the one hand, this backup is the fastest and takes the least amount of space, but remember that it is also the least complete backup. When creating this backup, only files modified since the last incremental backup are copied. Which means that if we want to recover a system that has crashed, we will need up to several dozen backups,
- cumulative backup – when creating this backup, only the data that has been modified or added since the last complete backup is copied. So if you need to restore the system, you will need a full backup and the current cumulative backup.
However, let’s remember one thing. Any type of backup requires a full backup first. Only further backups can be of a different type, depending on your needs.
So, coming back to the date which marks the World Backup Day, let’s remember that our files are not “immortal” and if we do not protect them properly they may be irretrievably lost. That is why it is so important to make regular backups. The grief of losing a priceless photo, video, but also other valuable or sensitive corporate data can be extremely painful.