I won’t lie, I’ve lost important data before.
When I was doing my degree in Computer Networking, I had my course work stored on a USB stick which suddenly stopped working. I kept meaning to back it up, but never got round to it, and when disaster struck, I had that sinking feeling knowing I was going to have to re-do hours of work.
That’s the problem with manual backups. Even if you remember to backup your files periodically, chances are you’ll forget and lose weeks, months or even years of data. Worse, backing up your data might never have crossed your mind, and sadly at The IT Folk, we bare witness to many heart breaking cases were customers haven’t backed their priceless data up and we’ve been unable to recover it.
A hard drive failure is one of the most common faults we encounter when a customer brings a laptop or desktop computer that’s ‘just stopped working’. It won’t boot into Windows or hangs in the boot loop of death and 9 times out of 10, the hard drive has failed. Thankfully in some cases we’re still able to access the file system and recover their files, but often the hard drive will have suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure and all data is gone forever.
In one heartbreaking case, a customer was near to tears upon learning her data was gone when she explained years of her family photos were on the computer, including her wedding photos, and photos of her kids growing up. It hadn’t crossed her mind to copy them to a second device as like many people, she never realised that it’s a case of ‘when’ a hard drive will fail rather than ‘if’. The sad thing is, backing up her precious data automatically is easy, cheap, and even free. Don’t make her mistake, get your data backed up NOW!
What we recommend
A local backup, i.e. backing up to a second device in your home is the minimum we advise. To do this, you’ll need to purchase a low cost external hard drive. You can pick these up locally at any supermarket such as Asda and Tesco or a dedicated computer store such as PC World. 500GB should do in most cases, but if you have a lot of data, especially video files, the larger, the better.
An external hard drive plugs into your desktop computer or laptop’s USB port, and shows up as another disk within Windows. You’ll most likely be familiar with your C: Drive, as this is the default letter Windows assigns to your in built hard drive that holds your documents, photos, and music etc. When you plug an external hard drive in, it will show up as another letter. Let’s say for the purpose of this example, D:
To manually backup your data, let’s use your photos folder as an example, you can simply drag the folder into D: and it will copy everything in your photos folder to your external hard drive. The problem with manually backing up your photos or other files is as explained above, you’re going to forget to do it from time to time. It’s human nature.
By far the safest form of data backup that gives you peace of mind, is one that happens automatically in the background. We recommend (and use ourselves), free software called SyncBackFree. This fantastic software, once configured, will backup any folder (or drive) to your external hard drive automatically daily, weekly, or monthly. It’s fairly easy to set up, but if you’d like us to do it for you, just give us a call. We can even set it up for you remotely.
The reason we prefer SyncBackFree is because it copies your folders and files, and allows you to access them on any computer without having to install the software. Many other backup programs will create its own file structure meaning you need to use the same program to ‘restore’ your files.
Cloud Backup for maximum peace of mind
Now that you’ve backed up all your files to that new external hard drive, surely that’s all you need right?
Well, yes, and no. It’s certainly better than no backup, but what happens if your home is burgled, burnt down, or hit by a tornado? Okay, that last one was a bit of a reach, but the others are certainly possible. A far better solution to locally backing up to an external hard drive, is backing up to a secure specialist cloud account. That way you will always have an offsite copy of your most valuable data that you can access from any computer.
The great thing about cloud backup is its so inexpensive with our cloud backup costing just £29.99 per year. Yes, per year, not per month!
Unlike many other cloud backup providers who give you a certain amount of storage, then charge more if you need to increase it, we offer completely unlimited storage for that low cost of £29.99 per year. It’s super easy to set up and runs in the background backing up all the files you chose to backup.
What’s more, it’s the only sure fire way to protect against a cryptography virus otherwise know as dreaded ‘ransomeware’.
What’s a cryptography or crypto virus?
The most famous case you may have heard about in the news was when our NHS suffered the biggest ransomeware attack in history. Thousands of other businesses have been crippled by ransomeware, but millions of regular people have also been hit by this fatal virus.
In short, once a computer is infected the virus encrypts every file, document and photo on your computer. There’s no way to decrypt those files unless the ransom is paid to the hacker. Even if you pay the massive fee, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the decryption key.
But I’ve backed everything up to an external drive!
This is why ransomeware is the most severe virus out there. Not only does it encrypt the files on your C: drive, but also any other drive plugged into your computer, and if you want to automatically backup your data regularly, you need to keep that external drive connected.
With a cloud backup solution, a ransomeware virus simply cannot gain access to that account, so in the event you do fall victim to ransomeware, you can reset your computer back to factory settings, and restore all your files from your cloud backup.
It will never happen to me!
Yeah, good luck with that. Tell that to the millions of victims who’ve already fallen victim and either had to pay the huge sum, or accept their data is lost.
DON’T BE THAT GUY/GIRL
Buy our low cost, unlimited cloud backup service today. We’ll even help you set it up.