HOW TO NOT LOSE YOUR FILES

PLANNING TO KEEP YOUR FILES SECURE?  DO YOU KNOW HOW?

Everyone has some files that they do not want to lose.  It could be company files, private pictures or files, etc.  Each and every computer systems are able to fail and essentially they will.  It normally happens unannounced and suddenly.  If you want to keep your files secure then you should do that now, not waiting for some catastrophe to happen.

How can you do it the most efficient way? 

Secure your files

The general idea is the same with each of the methods.  Keep your files in more than one place.  While all computers will essentially fail, when you have your files, pictures, etc. in more than one place, the chances that all locations fail at the same time are much smaller.  There are certain things you need to be aware of and these vary depending on what method you use.

Simplest

Probably the simplest method is that you buy a USB stick, external hard drive, a writeable CD or DVD disk, etc.

It is simple and does not require any special setup.  You plug in the USB stick / hard disk or pop in the CD/DVD and copy the files you want to save onto it.

Once it has copied the files then you just take it out and put it to a secure place.  It is a good idea not to keep it at the same place where your computer is - that is the whole point of having the files in two different location.

 The downfall of this technique is that it is not so simple to automate the process thus you would have to manually copy daily, weekly or whatever schedule you work out.  If you forget it then there will be no backup done.
Also, some of these tools (USB stick, CD/DVD) are relatively fragile and can more easily break than the computer's storage.

 

 Another easy way

Another way to secure your files which is relatively easy to setup is to use an online Cloud service.  There is a number of these.  One of the simplest and most know is Dropbox. It is easy to setup and for free you get 2 GB of space.  If you are done with the setup on your computer then any file you put in the Dropbox folder will be automatically copied onto the internet and also to any other computer, phone, etc. that is also signed in to the same account.  If you need more space it is easy and relatively cheap to buy more storage, no extra setup is needed there.

Beside that, as long as you keep the files in the Dropbox folder, have internet connection and enough space on Dropbox, the files are automatically copied to Dropbox and kept safe.

It also makes it possible to reach those files from other computers even from a phone.

In this setup you should watch for keeping your access code secure and complex to minimize the risk of someone else to access your files.

Beside Dropbox there is also Google Drive, which is a cloud service from Google.  This works different than Dropbox as here all the files are in an online storage and can be accessed through a web browser or mobile app.  This is also free for certain size and cheap to update. 

 

Most secure

The most secure way is to keep your files on a fully setup server or servers.

These devices are built to keep the files secure and accessible at any time.

This would not be something someone sets up at home without proper knowledge how to do it.  This is the most professional way to set that up from all that was mentioned here.  Normally one would get a professional to set it up or even to rent a server that is specifically setup for the task.

This last one guarantees the highest security and the most flexibility at the same time.  This is also the most expensive one and is normally for medium-large companies, organizations.

Some versions can actually be even used for home both price wise and for simplicity reasons.

 

Conclusion

Whichever method you use, the important part of keeping your files is to have them in more than one location.  If one of the locations fail the files are secure in the other location(s).

Any backup method is better than no backup at all.

In reality, if you do not yet have a backup method then the time to set one up is now - before something happens with your files.

 

Good luck and be safe!

 

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Gabor Toth

GABOR SYSTEMS