Archives - Backup

Be mindful of the lifespan of hard disk drives

If you use an external HDD for backup, be aware that it won’t last forever. HDD failure rates rise sharply in the fourth year and beyond, so if you’re wary of losing a key backup, make sure to have other drives in the mix and/or use a cloud-based backup solution.

Backup regularly to reduce the risk of ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most dangerous cybersecurity threats because its damage is so hard to roll back; you end up having to choose between paying a ransom that won’t even guarantee safe return of your data, or possibly losing that information forever. Local or cloud-based backup can help by giving you full, restorable copies […]

Handle external hard drives with care

External HDDs are useful parts of a backup strategy, even if you also use a cloud-based solution. When using one, make sure to keep it in a safe place where it won’t fall or get buried under other objects. Consider transferring its contents to other media after 4 years, when the risk of drive failure […]

Follow the 3-2-1 rule for backups

The 3-2-1 rule is a great general framework for backing up your data: Have at least 3 total copies of your data backed up. Ensure 2 of them are local but are on different media (e.g., external hard drives or SD cards). Keep 1 offsite, likely in a cloud-based backup service.

Put a second hard drive in your old laptop

If you have a laptop with an optical disc drive that you never use, consider swapping it out for an extra hard drive. Many older PCs and Macs can accommodate this switch, which provides some extra protection in case your main HDD fails or is compromised by malware.

Use system restore points as hedges against performance issues

If your computer starts slowing down and doesn’t respond to reboots or other tweaks, it might be time to revert it to a system restore point. System restore functionality is native to both macOS and Windows. If enabled, it allows you to fully reset your operating system to a backup originally created when everything was […]