March 31st is World Backup Day, so I wanted to share some backup ideas with you.
The 3-2-1 Backup method is used by major organizitions and industry professionals alike and is considered industry standard to protect your important files and images.
The important thing to remember is that you don't want to keep all of your eggs in one basket, so to speak. I learned this valuable lesson several years back when I trusted an external hard drive to be my only storage for 7 years worth of teaching images for the university. The hard drive was only 2 years old and of good quality, so I assumed I had nothing to worry about.
Suffice it to say, I was dead wrong and red faced as I explained my predicament to several instructors. They now had to start from scratch.
This is the same situation many others have faced, whether it was a computer crashing, an external hard drive malfunctioning or stolen or a natural disaster destoying print photos. In the end, the result is the same...a very unhappy person. So this is how the 3-2-1 Backup works:
3 copies of your data:
You want the original and two other copies. It is not uncommon to keep the original files on your computer with the 2 copies elsewhere.
2 Different Media:
You will want to choose 2 different places to store the 2 copies of your data. If the originals are on your computer and it gets stolen, you will need to turn to one of your copies. Some will keeps prints as a backup while others choose to have a copy on a USB or external hard drive that is kept near the originals for quick and easy file restoration. This is great unless both the original and the copy are compromised due to their location in your home such as a fire. This is where the next recommendation comes in handy.
1 copy off site:
Keeping 1 of the copies off-site can give you protection in case of natural disasters or theft. Using the cloud for storage of your files is a simple and cost effective method and the most common type of off-site copy, but keeping another external hard drive copy at work or with another family member is an option as well.
You may also want to take into account what you want backed up, whether its just photos and documents or if you want your whole computer backed up and how often. These decisions will help you to identify the right 3-2-1 backup system for you.
A simple example of a 3-2-1 backup would be having the originals on your computer with an external hard drive attached for a copy and Backblaze as a cloud based computer backup. Now thats peace of mind!