We all rely on our computers - they provide our entertainment, they store our precious family photos, they hold our financials - and yet most people don't regularly back up their data*.
There's a number of options for your backups, and there are pro's and con's to each. Please feel free to contact me if I can assist at all.
I mention "catastrophic events" in the text below. Whilst people will commonly back up to an external hard drive or burn files to a CD, should something catastrophic happen, such as a burglary or house fire, you could lose the back up as well as the regular files. Whilst we don't like to think of things like this occurring, it's important that we need to consider it as a possibility that could happen.
Don't forget that no backup solution is "set and forget" - you should periodically check to ensure that the files that you need to have backed up, are getting backed up.
Cloud back up services, such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox, and many others offer a quick and easy way to back up your files. They designate a folder on your computer, and will automatically upload all files within this folder to "the cloud". You are then able to simply log in with your account details on any computer or phone, and all of your files will be immediately accessible.
"The cloud" is simply a server (or more specifically multiple servers) owned by the company. For a monthly fee, you will be allowed a specific amount of space on their servers to use for your files.
Whilst cloud services are generally fairly secure, it's important that you protect yourself as much as possible by choosing a secure password, and enabling 2-factor authentication.
Although they sound similar, cloud backup services such as BackBlaze and Acronis True Image have a distinct difference versus cloud storage. Cloud storage services are designed for constant access and syncing across multiple devices. Cloud backup services are designed to only be accessed when you actually need them, and hence tend to be less convenient, but also cheaper.
Again, you should maintain security of your account.
USB drive / hard drive
An external backup drive connected to your computer can provide regular backups at fairly low cost. However, remember that these devices can still fail. Even worse, should one of those previously-mentioned "catastrophic events" happen, you've lost the original copy and the backup copy of your data. This can be avoided by keeping a backup of your backup off-site (e.g. with a trusted friend or family member), but then you have the disadvantage of data that is potentially weeks or months old.
With anything in IT, you need to assume that the worst will eventually happen and plan for it. For your backups, consider how important the data is to you, and what time, effort, or sentimental value will be lost if your data is lost. There's no "one size fits all" solution, so take some time to consider which option is best for you. Data recovery can cost thousands of dollars*, so it's best to avoid getting to this point if you can.
*I link to this page as an example of costs. If you need data recovery, Payam is very reputable in the industry and should be high in your list of consideration.
I will receive an affiliate commission if you use my link to BackBlaze.
Anybody who uses Facebook would have seen pages similar to "we are giving away a car because the last winner didn't call us back". Whilst companies do run giveaways on Facebook, if it's too good to be true, it probably is.
How to spot a fake giveaway
There's a few tell-tale signs, some of which are easy to notice, and others which are more difficult to notice:
Why do these fake pages exist?
Sometimes the creators of the page are just trying to generate likes. They will then sell the page to another scammer or a business that is trying to get started and feel like they need a lot of likes on their Facebook page from day 1.
Other times, the intent is to get you to complete surveys or click on ads, or do other activities which earn the owner of the page money.
It might also be that the intent is to get your contact details to try and log into another account or trick you into downloading a virus
What to do if you've been tricked
Change your password for your social media and other websites which might share the same password (and consider using a password manager such as Lastpass so you can easily have different passwords on different websites), run a virus scan and un-like any pages that you don't recognise.
To create this article, I used these other web pages, which may interest you as well:
You will now receive a free local gift with each at-home or pickup/drop-off service - supporting local in more ways than one! I am offering a free bottle/jar of Grund's Gourmet, while stocks last. Located in the Adelaide Hills, Grund's preservative-free condiments use fresh, local produce.
2020 has been a difficult year for businesses and individuals alike. Supporting local business (like mine!) is important and the small offer I am making helps demonstrate this.
This offer is subject to change, and whilst stocks last. It may be withdrawn or extended at any time. Please ask if stock is available.
With more of us working at home, I am getting more queries regarding poor Wi-Fi speeds and coverage. With Wi-Fi there is no simple answer however I hope the following tips can help you out.