Press Release

A Word About Backups

It seems our world gets a little more complicated with every year that passes. Our devices have gotten progressively more complex. Your smartphone has more raw computer power than the computers that were used for NASA’s moon landings. Our computers have also gotten smaller, thinner, and more powerful. They have amazing displays and amazing capabilities. When the personal computer came out in 1982 I doubt anyone could have predicted how our computers would become such an integral part of our lives. We have computers at work, computers at home, computers at the doctors office, computers at the store, and much more. Virtually everything is accomplished on a computer. From buying Christmas presents to booking a hotel, from checking in at the dentist or buying concert tickets, all of it is done on computers. And all of these computers produce a lot of data!

What About The Data?

Stop for a minute and just think about it. Most people have most of their important documents stored on their computers. Banking information, billing information, class schedules, grocery orders, Last Will and Testament, todo lists, and so much more are all on our computers. And then there’s the photos. Babies’ first steps, your vacation in Hawaii, your first attempt at ice skating, and so much more are all on your computer. Countless photographs that document and chronicle our lives and they are stored on a computer. And then there are the videos. The modern day equivalent of “home movies”. No longer kept on film and stored in a big box in the closet, now all your video memories are also stored on your computer. And don’t forget all your music. Like every album you’ve bought since you were 13 and ripped from CD and saved to a  hard drive. All of your music. And often all this data isn’t actually stored on  your computer, but in the so-called cloud. Which is storage on some companies computers. Up in the sky someplace. Is it safe? You better hope so. 

What About Backups? 

All this data that is stored on our computers is invaluable. Much of it can’t be replaced. If your hard drive should fail, and many do, if you don’t have your data backed up you’re out of luck. All your precious documents and photos and music and so much more is just gone! Most people realize that they should be backing up their data, but how many people actually do? Each  year, Backblaze, which is a company that offers a cloud backup service, conducts a survey of users about backups. In the 2022 Backup Survey 54% of respondents reported data loss and only 10% of them were backing up their data on a daily basis. The survey found that only 11% of PC users backup on a daily basis. That number is shocking to this author. In my experience with computers since 1980 I know that at some point your computer is going to fail. At some point your hard drive will die and take all your data with it. And your only salvation will be having a good backup of your data.

Breaking Down Backups

At it’s most basic, “backing up” a file simply means creating a copy of it. To be safe that copy should be kept in a different location. That can be do a disk or another drive. In this way your “backup” copy will be safe if your original copy is destroyed in a crash. Every  single thing on your computer is a file. The programs you use are collections of multiple files that work together. Your documents are files. So are your photos and your music. Everything you create and save on your computer is a files. So is every download. The “folders” on your computer are just a collection of files grouped together. 

Many people believe that backups are only important to a business. That’s simply not true. Every small business generates lots of files. So do students. And teachers. And authors. And investors. If you use a computer to create anything you’ve created something that only exists on your computer. And if anything happens to that computer your creation is gone. All your time and effort is lost to you. Files can be lost for a variety of reasons. If your computer crashes, which normally means a hard drive failure, your data is lost. Computer viruses can also infect your computer and damage your files. And if you only have one copy of each file you’re going to be out of luck. 

Backing up your computers is relatively easy and in most cases you can decide exactly what you want to backup. If you don’t have a lot of data that you want to protect, you can backup to a thumb drive. Today such drives are available in a wide variety of stores. If you have lots of data you might consider buying an external hard drive. These external drives come in a variety of shapes and sizes and you can find one that suits your needs. Another option is to backup to your cloud storage like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrve, Box, Dropbox and others. Most conventional backup programs can back your data up to these locations. Lastly, you can opt to use a cloud backup service. Anyway you look at it, backing up your valuable data is easy to do. 

Just One Example

Since we’re talking about backups I thought I would give a personal example. I backup  all my data using a product called Image for Windows, by TeraByte Software. What Image of Windows does is create an “image” of my computer. What is an image? It’s an exact copy of your entire 

system. This makes it very different from just a file backup. An image contains every file on your computer, including the operating system. Using Image for Windows I can restore individual files or I can restore my entire system onto a new computer. This type of backup is wonderful because it includes everything on your computer.  You don’t have to worry about forgetting an important file or a treasured photo. When you run your backup it’s making sure that everything is copied and protected. 

Summing It Up

The world has gradually moved aware from storing information in filing cabinets, cardboard boxes, and desk drawers.Today the majority of data that’s generated is created and stored on our computers. Our computers are wonderful devices that help us to be creative and also very productive. Like all machines, however, they are prone to failing at some point in their lives. If all your data is stored on a machine and that machine isn’t backed up, you could lose everything. Every single document, photo, song, and recipe. Backing up your computer is the only way to be certain that your precious data survives. There are many backup options including file backup, cloud backup,  and image backup., Don’t waste another day. Start backing up your data now so you won’t be sorry later. 

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