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World Backup Day – Back Up Your Data Today!

If you didn't know already, I'm passionate about backups!

I'm probably the only person who is passionate about them, but I've witnessed too many disasters.

Disasters that were preventable.

If you don't want to be the next disaster - then read on...

More...

Note: This post was originally published 31 March 2015. I've updated it for 2016 with a new Pinterest image, and added a link to more backup facts and figures on my Pinterest board.

World Backup Day

March 31st has been set aside as World Backup Day:

World Backup Day is a day for people to learn about the increasing role of data in our lives and the importance of regular backups.

Don't be an April Fool. Backup your files and check your restores on March 31st  #WorldBackupDay

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What is a backup?

A backup, in computer terms, is basically a copy of your files being stored on another media.

For example, you could copy the files from your computer hard drive to an external USB hard drive.

We’ll come back to other options later, but first, lets examine why.

Why should I backup?

Everyone who owns a computer should have a backup plan.

  • Imagine YOUR computer hard drive crashed...
  • Imagine YOUR computer is stolen...
  • Imagine YOUR computer is destroyed in a house fire...

When I say computer I also include smartphones and tablets in the same category – essentially any computing device that creates and stores data.

It's not a question of will you lose your data—it's when! #backup now

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Don't believe me? 

Here are some real-life stats and stories for you...​

Real-life Stats

  • 30% of people have never backed up
  • 113 phones lost or stolen every minute
  • 29% of disasters are caused by accident
  • 1 in 10 computers are infected with a virus every month
  • 31% of PC users have lost all of their files due to events beyond their control
  • 140,000 hard drives crash in the US every week
  • 60% of companies that lose their data will shut down with 6 months of the disaster

Checkout my Pinterest Page packed with infographics for more real-life facts and figures: 

Real-life Stories

- Take my friend Liz who ran into some PC problems and was advised to ‘wipe her computer and start again with a clean install.’ That’s great advice to fix the PC problem, but they just missed the bit about losing everything, as in absolutely everything, when you ‘wipe your PC.’ Now Liz no longer has her photos from her special once-in-a-lifetime trip to South Africa.

- A colleague had undertaken a two-year research project. Data was saved on the computer hard drive and as a fail-safe on a portable hard drive. The computer hard drive crashed and the portable hard drive was stolen!! This was before the advent of Cloud technology.

- Take my step-daughter Steph who saved all her university work on a portable USB stick even though she read my book on The Cloud. Guess what happened when it snapped in two? Yep, all the data was lost. 2 years down the pan! 

Losing your data under any circumstance is a painful experience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your personal data or your business data – it hurts!

Losing your data under any circumstances is a painful experience! Make sure you #backup everyday!

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Why do I need more than one backup?

When it comes to backing up your files it’s wise to remember the computer backup rule of three, also known as the Backup 3-2-1 Rule, to help ensure that your data will last.

You need off-site backup storage, plus backups to different media types, plus multiple copies of everything you want to protect.

3

3 COPIES OF EVERYTHING

Example: 1 Primary + 2 Secondary Backups

2

2 DIFFERENT MEDIA TYPES

Example: USB External Hard Drive + CD/DVD

1

1 OFF SITE BACKUP

Example: Amazon S3 Cloud Based Storage

To quote a popular phrase: “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket!”

- - Except at Easter, when you can definitely put all your chocolate eggs in one basket!

How do I backup?

OK, so to put that into context, here is my backup plan. Using the Backup 3-2-1 Rule I store my data in a number of places and a number of different formats:

  • MacBook: internal hard drive
  • Seagate Backup Plus: 1TB portable external hard drive
  • iCloud: Apple Cloud backup system to sync data and photos across multiple devices; iPhone, iPad, MacBook, etc.
  • Google Drive: Google Cloud Storage (15GB free)
  • Backblaze: Online Backup Service (Unlimited data @$5/month)

Cloud Storage or Online Backup?

Just a quick note to highlight the difference between these two terms:

Cloud Storage allows you to store selected files on the Internet so you can share them and access them whenever you wish; e.g. Dropbox and Google Drive.

Online Backup allows you to back up your whole computer so you can easily restore your files; e.g. Backblaze, iDrive and Livedrive. These services usually entail loading a small application on your computer and then letting the backup run in the background. The initial backup may take a while depending on the amount of data to backup, thereafter only new or changed files will be backed up.

Should I use the same backup plan?

No, not necessarily - it all depends on your circumstances and requirements.​

When I was searching for a backup solution I came across many different options. You can find them all listed in my ebook: Online Backup and Cloud Storage Resource Guide.

A quick word about Backblaze

Here's why I chose Backblaze for my backups:​

  • Easy To Try: As a Mac user I wanted a service that would work well on the Mac platform and Backblaze make a special case for that. (They also have a special case for Windows too!) So I decided to give the 15-day free trial a go to see how it performed.
  • Easy To Use: It was very easy to download the installation file and start my backup. Within minutes files were being backed up from my hard drive to the Backblaze servers. You don’t have to worry about which files to select for the backup; Backblaze automatically finds your photos, music, documents and data.
  • Easy To Restore: During the trial period I made a restore request to test if that worked. Again this was a seamless operation.
  • Easy To Support: I made a support request to check how quickly and effectively my query could be resolved. The support ticket was raised immediately and I received an answer within 12 hours; this was excellent service.
  • Easy To Buy: Based on my experience I decided to purchase the Backblaze service and was presented with 3 simple payment options: $5/month, $50/1-year or $95/2-year.

Based on my experience to date I have no hesitation in recommending Backblaze for your Online Backup:

backblaze-pink-kiss-files | byteofdata.com

When making your selection, think about the following:

  • Do you need unlimited storage for all your data, or will a certain amount (e.g. 100GB) be sufficient?
  • Do you need to backup multiple computers or just one?
  • ​Do the files on these computers need to be synced?
  • Do you have different types of computer; e.g. PC, Mac?
  • Do you need to share files with other people?

The Cloud Backup Collection

As I mentioned earlier, I am passionate about backups, so much so that I put together a collection of resources to help you. 

You will find some of the information above in the books, but they contain a whole lot more.

Here's what you get:

The_Cloud_eBook_Stack

The Cloud eBook: Protecting Your Digital Assets

​- Discover what the Cloud is and how you can use it to safely store and backup your data...

Cloud Storage and Online Backup Resource Guide

- This is the definitive resource guide on Cloud Storage and Online Backup...ignore it at your peril...

The_Cloud_Resource_Guide_Stack | byteofdata.com
The_Cloud_Interview | byteofdata.com

The Cloud: Exclusive Interview with Paul Hollins

​- Listen to my interview with well-known UK radio host Paul Hollins and discover:

  • ​3 surprising facts about the Cloud
  • 2 ways to save time and money
  • 5 quick tips to get your data backed up today

​Here's what people have to say about them:

David's excellent "Cloud Storage and Online Backup Resource Guide" is brilliant and on point. I've been a Systems Analyst for over 30 years and even I learned something! If the whole idea of backups has you twisted in knots, this is the guide for you. Superb!

Mark Conger
Unleash Your Inner Tech

David’s "Cloud Storage and Online Backup Resource Guide" reveal excellent comparisons of current online storage methods, including CrashPlan and Backblaze, to name a few. His collection of similar guides are the perfect example of consistency, value, and convenience that I strive for in my own content creation. If you need cloud solutions and you don’t have time to “dig” up the research, grab David’s guides.

Traci Antonovich
The Kitchen Girl

The presentation and styling of the eBook and Resource Guide, including the coordinated colours is remarkable. In fact, when I saw it, it immediately made me think, ‘This is a quality product!’ even before I had read the opening paragraph… Everything is organised in a logical order… and everything is clear and easy to understand… I especially like the comparison tables – super, super helpful.

Richard Martin
Smart Income Detective

In ‘The Cloud’ eBook David has explained in easy to understand terms what is meant by the Cloud and how I can use it to my best advantage for my personal storage needs. I will be recommending it to my clients, as I believe this should be mandatory reading for any small business owners who need to keep their important data safe.

Catherine Wainwright
CMW Business & Accounting Solutions

I really enjoyed your ebook on the Cloud and it was useful to provide a Resource Guide as well. It was interesting to learn more about the Cloud, and more to the point why it's important that we use it. The Resource Guide will be a godsend for anyone who doesn't have Cloud storage and backup already or is thinking of changing theirs to a new provider.

Tim Bonner
Tim Bonner Blog

Having read what David has to say on this matter I'm sure, like myself, you will be inspired and motivated to protect your data as quickly as possible. You will learn that backing up your data is a relatively easy process and will save you so much time and expense.

Stephanie Peek
Klis Skincare Range

Here's how to get your copy:

Enter your details below to download The Cloud Backup Collection

Infographic - Every Day Is World Backup Day

Here's an excellent infographic from Cloudwards >>>

Cloudwards.net – World Backup Day 2015Courtesy of: Cloudwards.net

​WordPress Backup

If you are a WordPress blogger then I have you covered too.

Click the button below to read how you can backup WordPress for free:

Summary

Here's what you have learned today:

  • March 31st is World Backup Day - Don't Be an April Fool!
  • Remember to follow the Backup 3-2-1 Rule
  • The Cloud Backup Collection will help you understand more about backups
  • Remember to backup your WordPress site as well as your personal files

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below:

  • What backup plans have you put in place?
  • Have you tried a restore of your backup to check it is working OK?
  • If you haven't backed up yet, please come back and tell me when you have!
David Hartshorne
 

I'm David and I'm the guy doing most of the writing around here. I'm a freelance writer helping solopreneurs and small businesses build their online presence through friendly, engaging and shareable blog posts.

  • Ilka Emig

    Hi David!

    Great advice – as usual. I had no idea that March 31st is World Backup Day. I try to backup regularly but sometimes I am a little behind schedule. I do use an eternal Hard Drive but it definitely sounds useful to have a second back up as well.

    All the best to you and enjoy the chocolate eggs that are allowed to be in one basket 😉

    • Hi Ilka,

      An eternal Hard Drive sounds rather celestial, but I guess you mean eXternal hard drive:-)
      Seriously, Ilka, you’re a scientist, and you know that hard drives are going to fail at some point. That’s why you need other backup sources, and one at least should be offsite. If you need help finding the right service then drop me a line and I’ll help you out.

      Happy Easter!
      – David

      • Ilka Emig

        Thanks for the reminder David 🙂

  • Hi David – Happy World Backup Day!

    As you know, I didn’t have a backup plan in place. I was one of those people – ‘it’ll never happen to ME’. But life is funny like that because things do happen to us all the time – when we least expect it.

    As you know, I took out a BackBlaze plan on your recommendation – and I really do urge others to do the same. My iMac is 5 years old now (I must add though, it still runs as smooth as the day I bought it), but I know these things are susceptible to hard drive failure – no matter if you have a Mac (the best IMO – LOL) or a windows computer.

    Backblaze is running in the background and I think I pay literally pennies a month for it. it does give me a warm, fuzzy feeling when I see it backing up automatically. I couldn’t afford to lose all the data that I have on there.

    Sorry to hear about your daughter too – even though her dad is mad keen on backups, I can’t believe you didn’t put your foot down with her. But she is typical of the ‘won’t happen to me generation’ I guess.

    Thanks for the great advice here David – I hope people take heed!

    • Hi Richard,

      Thanks for sharing your experiences of backups – its reassuring to know that you have everything covered with Backblaze.

      Unfortunately, I cannot force people, including Steph, to take the necessary steps to safely back up their data. I can only offer my advice and encourage folks to take action!

      Have a great weekend Richard!
      – David

  • Hi, David,

    What an excellent article and fun spin with April Fool’s day! It’s such an important topic, and you’ve done a wonderful job in covering the basics and beyond. 🙂

    I’m on a MacBook Pro so absolutely love the Time Machine. Oh, is that a nice feature! Have used it several times.

    Also use Google Drive, iCloud, external hard drive and my blog is also backed up on my web hosting server.

    Will never be caught off guard, that’s for sure.

    I’ve even gotten into the habit of dictating my comments on a text file and copying and pasting so as not to lose it if a glitch occurs on the site I’m commenting on. Can’t be too careful in this area of losing data.

    Thanks for the info, and have already shared it out.

    Take Care,
    – Carol 🙂

    • Hi Carol,

      So good to read you have all bases covered both for your blog and your business files!

      There is only one World Backup Day a year to give some focus to the topic, but of course, those that neglect to take action end up being a fool unto themselves, and ultimately learn the hard and painful way. Its so easy to setup backup routines, but what can I say, people tend to ignore it until its too late.

      Thanks for sharing your backup options Carol and make sure you have a blessed Easter weekend!
      – David

  • Some awesome tips David. Sadly i missed backup day 🙂

    I’ve had plenty of crashes over the years, lost data and have seen many others lose their stuff. Funny, years ago, I remember years back, CD’s were the main back up and that was a pain. Didn’t have the big drives like they do now.

    I currently back up to two external hard drives, basically duplicates. But I am actually running out of room. Think I need to see about deleting some stuff. Also have a couple smaller usb portable drives. Western Digital fan myself.

    Never looked at cloud based backups because I have too much to back up, would take forever, even though I am on a good connection. My main drive is 1T and running out of room.

    My problem with backup software, for local backups is that none of them worked the way I wanted. Every one I tried, backed up everything and encrypted the data. I just want a local solution that only backs up new and changed files. And not encrypted. Have not found one yet. Tried Norton, Kapersky and Windows. All work the same. Any one know of a solution?

    Thanks again for the reminder David and some options to check out 🙂

    • Hi Ron,

      No worries about missing backup day itself – you have some strategies in place which is great!

      Yes, CDs and the DVDs were the thing back a few years, but with USB external drives and cloud storage options things have definitely moved on.

      Ron, I’d encourage you take a look at Backblaze that I mentioned in the post. They literally only backup what is required – not the whole shooting match. Once you have the initial backup done, only changed files get backed up so there is no drain your computer resources. Just ticks away nicely in the background. Unlimited data too! A FREE trial has to be worth a shot?

      If you don’t like the look of Backblaze then my Resource Guide lists the other vendors to consider.

      Give me a shout if you want some help – would be happy to get you sorted!
      – David

  • Hey David,
    Like Ron Killian mentioned above, I missed the world back-up day and its sad to note that!

    The idea of back-up is no longer optional, it is necessary. I have had my fair share of avoidable frustrations because I failed to back-up my day.

    For a day like this when we are reminded of the importance of making back-up of our files, there is no denying the fact that this is very helpful.

    I agree with this quote Losing your data under any circumstance is a painful experience. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your personal data or your business data – it hurts!There is no doubt about it!

    I guess its important to access the best storage and back-up services every now and then to forestall eventualities in case of data breach, loss, and theft!

    I shared this comment in kingged.com where this post was found.

    • Hi Sunday,

      Thanks for stopping by via kingged.com!

      Yes, when you lose your data, you suffer badly. You kick yourself for being lazy!
      Its good to know that you have backups in place now and that your data is being stored safely.

      Have a great weekend!
      – David

  • Hi Naomi,

    Its good that you have at least started with an external hard drive backup – that is more than some people have, and they end up in all sorts of problems.

    Yes, I’d recommend you look at some of the cloud based solutions too. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Lovely to see you here again!
    – David

  • Hey David,

    Backups were something that I didn’t consider before … for online or of my computer. But after my harddrive crashed on my Mac a little while ago and I (for the moment) lost all my information, I’m a backup maniac now.

    I back up on G-Drive and Amazon just to be safe. And on my site, I back up daily. And store copies on an external harddrive and on those two sites. It’s a shame that many people don’t back up their stuff as often as they should.

    And it’s even more of a shame what happened to your friend and hey photos to South Africa.

    Great post and information here.

    – Andrew

    • Hi Andrew,

      Its great to hear that you have a solid backup strategy in place. You can’t be too safe, so backing up multiple copies to different locations is excellent practice.

      Unfortunately, for those people who don’t backup, they suffer badly when disaster strikes!

      Thanks Andrew, have a good weekend!
      – David

  • Hi David,

    I appreciate this info.
    I actually stopped reading this and went ahead and stored my latest backup in a safe place.

    Then I signed up for your ebook, got busy with a few other things, and now I’m back 🙂

    To be honest, this is one of the things I actually don’t like about blogging. As much as I love the creative aspect of everything and the ability to connect with others, etc – it’s this technical stuff that I find challenging and confusing.

    BUT, I know it’s necessary to take it seriously.
    I’m sorry to read about the examples you’ve shared here. No one wants that to happen.

    I’ve lost valuable files, pics and other things, it isn’t pleasant.

    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Hi Dana,

      Sorry to hear that you’ve lost valuable files and pics in the past. You’re not the first, and you certainly won’t be the last! Unfortunately, people (including bloggers) just don’t take the subject seriously…until it’s too late!

      I’m so pleased you’ve downloaded the ebook and resource guide. It would be my privilege to help you over this ‘technical hurdle’ so that you have a robust backup plan.

      Let me know!
      – David

  • Hi David

    Everyday is a World backup day. I have experienced the consequences of not having a backup. Just recntly, my memory card crashed and where it not for the backups that I had, I definetely would have lost a lot of information.

    I have seen friends loss family albums, data, assignments and many more. In this information age, having a hard drive for backup isn’t enough, you need to have more than 5 backup plans.

    Love your pics as they are apt and thumbs up for the resource. Thanks for sharing..

    • Hi Ikechi,

      Oops, bad news on the memory card! Thankfully you had a backup to revert to.
      I agree, its better to have a few backups spread around as we have so much data in various forms that we need to store safely.

      Thanks for sharing your story!
      – David

  • Hey David,

    I have never heard of world backup day. As a matter of fact, I’m doing a full backup on all cPanel as I’m typing that. I do a full backup at the end of each month but I back up my files and database on a daily basis.

    As for my computer, I have BackBlaze which I haven’t had to rescue any files from yet but if I did they would be there plus I backup all my files on my computer at the end of each week on an external hard drive. I actually have several of them for different files. So I might not have 3 sources in place but I think I’m covered pretty well.

    Only once in my life have I lost my computer and the files on them but I had the majority of my files backed up, I wasn’t doing it weekly back then which is why I’m doing it more now.

    I can’t imagine losing all those files that you’ve had for all those years. I also can’t ell you how many times I’ve pulled out my external hard drive and had to retrieve a file too because I keep my computer pretty clean.

    Thanks for sharing this and your report looks very handy. Thanks for sharing what you do to backup your files David and I see a few people in the comment section who have gotten right on it, as they should.

    ~Adrienne

    • Hey Adrienne,

      Sounds like you have a bulletproof system in place there! Good to hear you’re using Backblaze too. I tried a few restores just to make sure the process worked – which it did – but I’ve never had to restore as a result of a disaster yet.

      I’m like you. I try to keep as much data off my computer as possible. Just seems safer all round that way.

      Thanks for sharing your backup system Adrienne. Have a great weekend.
      – David

  • It’s been a year already? Well, my backup plan/routine is still the same. So I shall not comment further.

    Shared again. Now I shall not comment further.

  • Hey David,

    Since I’m in IT as well, I’m always harping the users to make sure they back up their documents and any other office files they use. One thing I’ve done was redirect their home folders to server so whenever they click the save button it automatically saves to their home folder.

    As far as myself, I’ve been used a backup plugin for wordpress that saves to my dropbox folder. I also use the Google Drive to back up other documents so I’m pretty good. But this post is a great reminder of the importance of backing up your files because you never know will disaster strikes!

    Thanks for sharing David and you have a great week ahead!

    • Hey Sherman,

      It’s tough getting folks to buy into the idea of backing up their documents and files. Then when they lose their data they suddenly become interested! Good idea to have their home folder pointing to the server, so at least you have some backup in place for them.

      Sounds like you have a good plan in place for yourself, which is reassuring to hear! Did you ever try a restore from Dropbox to WordPress? Just wondered how efficient that would be?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts here and spreading the word on backups!
      – David

      • I haven’t tried a restore from my dropbox back up just yet

  • Hi David
    The facts and figures on backup are just an eye opener. We usually take the backup task quite casually and sometime just defer it on the premise that we took a backup just a few days ago.
    A precious thing once lost could be recovered but necessarily in same shape so it is better to avoid taking risk and take backup regularly.
    The ways you mentioned are tested ones and one should not compromise on quality of backup service just to save a few bucks when it comes the matter of our online resources.
    Many thanks for sharing this very useful post

    • Hi Mi,

      Yes it’s definitely wise to plan your backup properly and make sure you don’t become another one of the stats that I highlighted. Unfortunately, procrastination takes over and people are inclined to put it off until disaster strikes.

      Glad you found this post useful.
      – David