Today, March 31st, is World Backup Day and I want to remind you to make sure you have a backup of your data. If you do already have a backup you need to make sure that backup is working and you can successfully restore data from your backup.
What should you be backing up?
Desktop and Laptop Computers
The most obvious answer of what you should be backing up is your desktop and laptop computers. You do your work on them, store your precious photos and home videos on them and they are all prone to hard drive failure or even virus threats like cyberlocker. You should have a local backup and one stored off site. There are many ways to create a local backup. Windows and Macs ship with backup software built in.
Off site backup can be easily done with cloud backup software like Backblaze, Carbonite, SpiderOak, and CrashPlan to name a few. Some software can even create and manage both your local and cloud backup at the same time. SpiderOak, CrashPlan, Zoolz and SOS Online Backup all come to mind. I can go one at length about them all, and do at Cloud Storage Buzz.
Your Smartphone and Tablet
Have you ever backed up your smartphone or tablet? For most people your smartphone has become your camera and video recorder. Backing up those photos and videos in the case you lose your device or it is destroyed is just as important as your desktop or laptop. There are many apps that will automatically copy your photos and videos from your smartphone or tablet to the cloud or your own computer. Some of my favourite apps to do this on both Android and iOS are Google+, Dropbox and Bittorrent Sync. If you already use a cloud backup service they might also offer an app that can backup your smartphone to your existing cloud backup. Carbonite and SOS Online Backup come to mind but there are others.
Odds are if you read my blog or follow me on social media you probably have a website and obviously you need to make sure you have backup copies of your website files and databases. Many a great website has been taken offline for long periods of time because backups were not available. Depending on your website and your web host you might have several different options for backing up your website.
If your website is hosted on a web host that uses cPanel, it is pretty easy to manually login to your cPanel web hosting control panel and create a manual backup and download it. The downside of using the cPanel backup is it is a manual process that you need to remember to do. There are ways to automate your cPanel backup but that can get pretty complicated. Thankfully there are other easier options to backup your website.
One way is to sign up for Sucuri. Sucuri offers website malware monitoring and clean up. They are a a fantastic service that can help clean up your website in the event is has been compromised by malware. One of the additional services they offer is website backup. I have several clients that use Sucuri and it is an excellent service so far.
You can also take a look at Mover.io. They offer the ability to move files easily between cloud services. You can set it up to copy your website files and databases from your web host to your favourite cloud service. I have not done a great deal with them yet but the service does look promising.
Another way of making sure your website files and databases are protected are by signing up for a web host that does it automatically for you already. While I would recommend not relying solely on your web host backup it can be a great help if you need it. One of the web hosts I have been impressed with regarding backups is WPEngine. They make it easy to create backup points and to download them. Some hosts say they make backups but you do not have easy access to downloading them or restoring them.
If you use WordPress for your website there are also a number of plugins and other options available to regularly backup your database and files within WordPress. At the very least you can regularly export all of your content using the WordPress export tool.
Your Google Services
An area many people over look when they think about backup is backing up your Google services. I use many of Google’s services and I would be lost without having access to my GMail, Calendar and Drive files. While I do have a local copy of all my Google Drive files, I don’t use a desktop email or calendar program so my only copies of my GMail and Calendar are with Google. Thankfully you can backup your Google services with other cloud services. Two I have used are Spanning and Spinbackup. Both are good. Spanning can also backup Saleforce (if your company uses that) while Spinbackup can backup your Google+ photos.
Backing Up Is Easy!
Backing up your data has gotten much easier over the years I have been using computers. The tedious task of creating a backup to floppy disks (remember those) are long gone. There is simply no reason not to setup an automatic backup of your data any more. You will be thankful that you did when your hard drive dies and you still have access to your photos of your kids first steps, or first school play. I have seen far to many people lose all of their files, photos, and important work data, please don’t become one of them.
BACKUP YOUR DATA!