4 ways to back up your data securely

Storing data has been becoming really essential these days. Photos, videos, video games, emails and etc. Everyone is online and saves her documents in their gadgets. However, are we really sure we store our data securely?

Before going into deep, let's consider the sum total of data held by all the big online storage and service companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. Estimates are that the big four store at least 1,200 petabytes between them. That is 1.2 million terabytes (one terabyte is 1,000 gigabytes).

So, where should we keep our data though, and how do we protect it? What threats are we worried about the most?


1. Confirm your data is encrypted

Your data should be encrypted. When you store your data on your operating system or your hard drive, make sure your data is stored with encryption. You can check your drives encryption status in BitLocker (Windows) or FileVault (Mac OS).

2. Store your data on an external hard drive

Using an external hard disk can be accessible to you in everywhere. You can carry your hard disk with you to any place, therefore, it is the most used way for storing data. However, how to ensure our data is safe in our hard drive?

-Get the backup of your data. Don’t store your data only on your laptop or hard disk. You must have a back up for the worst case scenario.

-You can keep your external disk connected to your computer at all times and schedule BitLocker or FileVault to make periodic updates of your files. It’s very convenient, but there is the potential risk that a virus would also corrupt your backups.

-Plug in your hard disk if you want to make a backup whenever you have made significant progress on your work.

3. Store your data on a not-easily accessible external hard drive

The main problem of making your external backups is whatever may harm your data may harm your backups. For example, fire or corruption may occur and you can lose your data and everything. Therefore, it is a better idea to keep your backup safe, maybe far away from you.

Cloud storage certainly qualifies, but it’s far cheaper is to buy a hard drive. It may not always be appropriate to ask your friends or family to keep a hard drive for you, but with 1 Terabyte drives approaching the size of a wallet, maybe it’s not too much to ask.

4. Use the cloud to store your data

Online storage can be a good solution for you if you travel frequently. Online storage may get expensive comparing with external hard disk and it can come with other significant challenges. You can find some online cloud storage providers, like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneDrive which are relatively expensive if you have more data than their free plans allow.

It can be inconvenient to encrypt your data in cloud storage. There are VeraCrypt and PGP options which you also can use them for your data you store on your computer or hard drive, in spite of that, a data speed might make it a hassle to re-upload an entire folder or container every time a file changes. Although, most of the clouds are well-secured and up-to-date but it is again your responsibility to look after your data because there is also a discussion going on about Google Drive, for instance, at quora.com.

Whatever method you use, always safeguard your data. Your data is valuable. Better to worry about how to secure it than worry about having lost it! You can keep your data synced on an external hard disk at home or in the cloud, or keep your most valuable files on a hard drive somewhere else. You may want to get access to your files quickly but the cloud doesn’t contribute you for your large files-you are unlikely to touch in years, such as old pictures and videos.

Finally, whatever you choose, encrypt your data and have a good plan for how to backup your passwords and encryption keys too!