World Backup Day is March 31st

World Backup Day is March 31st, landing on a Friday this year and giving people something to do over the weekend. Described as “a day for people to learn about the increasing role of data in our lives and the importance of regular backups,” World Backup Day isn’t a novelty holiday as it may seem – unlike National Trivia Day and National Paperclip Day (yes, these both exist and yes, National Puppy Day is a real holiday).

It is meant for those who didn’t learn that time when their laptop crashed and the big project was lost, or desktop computer froze and all work from the previous session disappeared, or smartphone glitched and nothing was recoverable (Samsung Galaxy S3 “sudden death” and Apple iOS 10 brick, anyone?).

It is also meant for those fortunate few that have never experienced losing data because, trust us, it’s borderline earth-shattering.

What is backup?

Storing data in a secondary location for recovery of earlier versions and/or after loss. The objective can be viewed as two methods: active and passive. Active backup is the frequent or continuous copying of data, as up to date as the primary location with earlier versions also available. Passive backup is the occasional copying of data, meaning the primary location will have the most current version and the secondary will have an older one.

Active backup is a mirror of internal storage whereas passive backup may not be the finished product but it’s better than nothing.

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How to backup data

There are different options with different benefits so that you can decide which works best for your use, regardless of which backup method you choose.

Cloud. Saving to an off-site data center is popular for mobility and storage but works just as well for backup. Cloud services are known for being reliable with near-perfect uptime and accessibility, so retrieval is hardly a concern.
Best for: commuter/travelers; mobile ___

External hard drive. External hard drives connect and transfer copies of data, acting as a computer’s memory that can be unplugged. The debate of whether to leave the drive connected to the computer or not is one without a correct answer but the arguments for and against are such:

Keeping it plugged in ensures that the most recent versions are saved and data loss is very rare in the event of a power outage/surge. However, it is then susceptible to physical theft and digital compromises including malware and denial of service.

Disconnecting ensures that the backup files are stored securely and the separation eliminates possible threats that computers may get. However, backing up can’t be automatically done and it takes a little extra time to consciously remember; most recent versions of files might not be the saved version then. NOTE: if you backup a folder that contains preexisting malware or encryption you aren’t aware of, it will copy onto the drive.

Still not convinced that backup is worth it?

“Don’t be an April Fool.” “What would you do if you lost everything?” “Friends don’t let friends go without a backup.”

With catchphrases like these, how can you not be convinced? Backing up data is insurance that’s as valuable as you make it – even if you copy your entire system (computer or smartphone) just once, it will be nice to know that you won’t have to start from scratch should something happen.

To learn more about backup services from TriTech, call us at 262-717-0037.

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