Backing Up Your Computer

“In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has.” ~ Proverbs 21:20 (NIV)

A few years ago, I got a Windows system pop-up message on my computer. The message was that Windows believed that my hard drive was about to fail. I am sure this would have been a source of panic if not absolute terror to most people in my situation. Yet in my case I remained calm. This is because I had an up to date backup of my computer data. So the worse case situation would only be the moderate inconvenience. The act of having a current backup of your computer will free you from a lot of computer related anxiety. According to the Bible, being ready for potential setbacks in the future is a trait of the wise. Contrary to some current “folk theology” this is not at all a sign of having a lack of faith in God to provide. Given that the Bible calls us to also be responsible and take reasonable precautions. Your files on your computer and phone likely account for hundreds of hours worth of work and irreplaceable pictures. So it only makes sense to take a few minutes a week to back up your data from potential loss.

Please keep in mind that my intention is not to write an all-inclusive backup guide. My goal is to give simple backup suggestions that can be quickly put into action. A simple backup is better than no backup but if you want to do a more complete job, by all means do more reading on this topic. The most important thing is that if you do not already have a backup is to create a simple backup today. Then once you have a simple backup you can start to think about what type of backup system would be best suited for your needs long-term. Trust me if you ever have a need for a backup, you will be glad that you maintained a backup. Likewise even if you never need to use your backup, you will enjoy the pace of mind that having one provides.

When it comes to backing up data that is of high value, you should follow the computer backup rule of three. The rule of three in computer backup is that you should have at least three copies of your data. It is also important for at least one of your three copies to be stored at a remote location. The classic example is that if your computer and backup are in the same place, both can be destroyed in a fire or flood. Your remote backup does not have to be anything fancy. A remote backup can be as simple as a USB memory stick in a safe deposit box, gym/work locker or secure place at work or school. You can even swap USB flash drives with a friend or relative for your remote backups. If you use a remote backup on physical media depending upon the nature of the data you may want to encrypt the data. Especially if it contains any sensitive information such as business or financial records. Another quick and simple option for personal use would be to pick up a USB flash drive for your key-chain or extra-large SD card for your phone to store copies of your most valued files and pictures. Just keep in mind that physical storage works best with files that are constant like pictures.

For data that changes more often, cloud storage would likely work better. Cloud storage includes services such as Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud and Microsoft OneDrive. The act of syncing your data across your devices with an online copy doubles as backup. Cloud data syncing services are also computer backup rule of three compliant. So placing your active working document in your Dropbox folder, will provide real-time backup. As an added bonus all of the above services include mobile app versions with an option to auto upload your pictures as you take them. So your pictures will not only be backed up automatically but also synced to your computer for easy access.

So remember be smart and choose to be among the wise in making sure your computer has an up to date backup. The few suggestions that I gave were only quick and simple things that anybody can quickly and easily put into practice. I encourage you to do further reading about the best backup for your current needs. There is no one size fits all solution, when it comes to the best method of computer backup. So please do not consider me the final authority and seek out more information for your computers. If anything every happens you will be glad that you had a current computer backup.

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