Be prepared for computer disaster. Create backups of your important computer files. Hard drives WILL FAIL. They always do. In fact, it is somewhat predictable as to when they will fail. Within 5 years, your PC’s hard drive will probably fail, depending on usage – maybe even less.
There is no excuse not to have backup copies of important computer files on a portable USB hard drive or flash drive given the fact that data storage is very inexpensive nowadays compared to just a few years ago. Even the USB flash drives of today can hold massive amounts of data.
Once you have a backup hard-drive, what will you do with it?
There are a multitude of logical methods to treat data storage and file backup. Myself, I treat file backup in two ways.
One, my main PC contains multiple hard drives, one of which is used for periodic and automatic file backup of everything from the main hard drive. This will ensure an easy replacement should my main hard drive go down (they all do eventually – they spin, and are mechanical and will eventually fail).
My other method for file backup is focused on a grab-and-go philosophy. On my main PC, I organize my files in a folder structure in such a way that simply copying one particular folder from my main PC to my 1TB portable USB hard drive will contain all of the sub-folders and files that I consider to be important. I periodically overwrite the backup copy so that it is always fairly up to date.
If you have important data that, if lost, would disrupt your life, you should really have at least one backup, preferably two. I keep two backups, one readily available at my desk and the other locked up in one of my fire-proof safes. This brings up another point… leaving an unsecured backup on your desk could be devastating should you be burglarized. This is why I keep some of the data encrypted, along with a copy of the encryption program on the backup drive (so to be installed on a different PC should it become necessary). All you need to remember of course, is the encryption password phrase. There are a multitude of file encryption programs out there, so, be smart and use one.
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