When it comes to backing up your sensitive data, there are a number of strategies that you can use. The key is to choose the method that will provide you with the level of protection you require, while being easy enough to ensure that it can be used regularly and efficiently.
There are three main computer back up strategies; back up to local media, online or cloud backup and private cloud backup.
Local Media Backup
Local media backup involves backing up your data onto a storage device that is located close to your computer system. Local media storage devices include things like external hard drives, USB flash drives, or CD / DVD-RW disks. In most cases, you simply install data backup software, connect the storage device to your computer and follow the program instructions.
The advantage of using local media backup is that it is simple, efficient and relatively low-cost. Your data is secure, provided you keep it in your possession or physically well guarded at all times. Another plus is the accessibility of your data. You can backup or retrieve your data at any time and quickly transfer it to its desired location.
The disadvantages of local media backup are mainly related to the storing, organization and security of the data. Using a physical device such as an external hard drive to stare your data means that you must keep the drive in a secure location to prevent it from being stolen or misplaced. This takes time and may cost you money as well.
Another disadvantage of using local media is that it is often vulnerable to the same kinds of problems that cause data loss from your main system. For example, fire, floods, power surges and the like are just as likely to wipe out your backup system as well as your primary computer system.
With that said, the ease and efficiency of local media storage may make it better for private computer users or very small businesses.
Cloud or online backup involves purchasing a subscription with an online backup service such as Mozy, Carbonite or similar companies. The backup service runs a computer application that backs up your files at regular intervals via the internet.
The files are stored on a series of hard disks that belong to the online backup service. Your files are encrypted to ensure their privacy both while being transferred and stored. This prevails hackers from accessing the information in transit and ensures that employees of the backup service do not have access to your files while they are being stored.
Convenience is a major advantage for cloud backup, since the files are automatically copied, transferred and stored through the internet on a regularly scheduled basis without any interference on your part.
The fact that the data is stored off-site makes it unquestionably that you would lose both your main system and the backed up files at the same time. The services tend to be reasonably priced and are usually billed automatically on a monthly basis.
The downside of cloud backup is the time that it takes to back up large amounts of data, along with the question of what happens to your data if the company goes out of business.
Private Cloud Backup
Private cloud backup is an excellent strategy for small businesses or private network users who have a significant amount of sensitive data to store. Private cloud backup involves connecting a storage device to your network and storing all of your network data on that device.
The advantage is that you can store any data from your network in one place without having to have a storage device for each computer. Your data is local and can be accessed quickly.
The initial cost of setting up a private cloud backup is significant, however the fact that there are no monthly fees to pay makes it more financially viable over the long term. The installation may require a certain amount of computer and network knowledge at first, but is relatively low-maintenance once the system is up and running. You'll need to find a way to secure your storage device, and make sure it is properly maintained.