Unfortunately, backup is not easy.

Most of the time, the devil is in the details and what at first seems like a good and safe strategy for your files (or your company’s, for that matter) can turn out quite disastrous.

Especially if you make one of these five terrible backup mistakes.

One Backup is Enough (Ha Ha, You Wish!) 

Having at least one backup is a great step into the right direction, but the protection this strategy provides definitely won’t last long. If you save data onto an external hard drive or NAS, then you need to have a redundant copy of those files because hard drives often fail.

Don’t let the (false) sense of security brought by just one backup fool you. Rather, combine local backup with a good off-site backup service. Better to be safe rather than inevitably sorry.

“Me One Day No Remember Password.”

If you’ve signed up with an online backup service, hopefully you’ve chosen one that locally encrypts files, as we recommend. Local encryption adds another layer of security to backups, protecting you from other people’s spying on your files.

To encrypt data, you need to have a master password that only you can know.  Unlike regular passwords, this one cannot be recovered. If lost, your data is gone for good. Not even the backup provider can recover the data if a master password goes missing. So be careful never to lose or forget that one all important password. 

Forgetting File Versions

It is crucial to set up an automatic routine to manage your backups the right way. For some files, it might be all right to have only one backup per month, but other files will need special attention—it doesn’t matter if you’re backing up a PC or a Mac or a business server.

Many online backup services automatically backup changes in your file system or perform the backup according to a schedule. Also, some providers, like Backblaze, store the last 30 versions of files so that you can restore older versions with ease. 

The Difference Between Backup, Storage & Sync

We have covered this issue extensively in our article about cloud backup myths, so I won’t rehash it here too much, but in a nutshell, you have to know the difference between these three terms.

Backup is for mirroring your files—when a file in your source OS changes, then your backup changes too. Storage is for files that won’t be changed as much or ever and sync is for when you need the same files across several machines

Not Researching Your Options

We know it can be overwhelming to get all your thoughts straight about how to best back up all those computer files. But you need to do your research to know what’s best for your unique situation.

Do you need unlimited online backup, or would 50GB do? Do you need to set up your own cloud storage for security reasons, or can you trust services like Dropbox or Google Drive with your data? 

Conclusion

Manage to avoid these terrible mistakes when backing up files and you’re going to be much better off than 90% of the population.

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