Beep Beep Beep... World Backup Day Is Coming!

Category: Backup

World Backup Day (March 31) is fast approaching, so today I'll continue my 'Backup Day' series to promote awareness of this important subject. Yesterday I wrote about iDrive, the online backup service that I believe to be the best of the bunch. But what I didn't mention is that iDrive is only one piece of the total picture when it comes to making sure that ALL your important files and folders are securely backed up. Read on for the rest of the story...

Back it up, Back it up...

Even though he didn't know he was giving great advice for computer users, George Costanza from the 'Seinfeld Show' had it right. In the episode that aired 19 March 1998, George interrupts Jerry with this comment: "Whoa, back it up, back it up. Beep, beep, beep." (See the video clip.) In context, it had nothing to do with computers or backups. But hey, when you can take a pop culture moment and use it to educate, you run with it.

Did you back up?

Two years earlier, a cartoonist named Peter Steinfeld (no relation to Jerry Seinfeld) published a cartoon about backups. It's funny because the office worker in this scene misunderstood the context of the question from the tech support guy on the phone. But more than two decades later, we still have plenty of computer users who are in the dark (or in denial) about backups.

Backblaze does an annual survey to see how many people are actually backing up their computers. They found that only about one of every three computer users backs up their data even monthly! Nearly two-thirds of computer users back up their computers only once a year -- if they back up at all! If your hard drive fails (and eventually ALL of them do), will you lose all your personal files, your emails, and the software you've purchased? Important files can be lost for a variety of reasons -- hardware failure, human error, viruses, ransomware, power surges, and natural disasters. And worse, some users who installed Windows updates suffered from a flaw that deleted all their documents, photos and music.

iDrive: One Part of the Backup Solution

Yesterday I wrote a review of iDrive, and gave it my recommendation for online backup. If you missed that, stop and read It's Coming... World Backup Day 2022. I recommend this software not just because iDrive has won the PC Magazine Editor's Choice award for best backup EIGHT years in a row. I use it myself, and it has at least two important features that no competitor has. (Read my review for the full details.)

The iDrive Personal plan normally costs about $6/month for 5 Terabytes of online backup space. But I've negotiated a special deal for my readers. If you sign up with this link you'll get a 95% discount on your first year of iDrive, and 10 TERABYTES of cloud backup storage. Your price will be just $3.95! I agree with the PC Magazine editor: "You won't find a better overall online backup service than the full-featured IDrive, especially for the price." (A couple readers asked me yesterday if this offer is open to folks outside the USA, and the answer is YES.)

The Backup Solution, Continued

So why do I say that iDrive is only one piece of the total picture when it comes to making backups? That's because iDrive excels at making ONLINE backups of your most important files -- the ones in your Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos and Desktop folders. It would take WEEKS to complete a full online backup of your entire hard drive, because the amount of data being transferred over the Internet to the iDrive servers is so huge. And if you ever wanted to restore everything after a data disaster, you'd be waiting WEEKS AGAIN to get it all back.

That's why I recommend cloud backup (iDrive) for those critical personal folders, PLUS a LOCAL FULL BACKUP that protects EVERYTHING on your computer.

My personal backup strategy (and what I recommend to you) is to make a full system backup (also called a drive image) every Sunday morning at 3 AM. I supplement that with daily incremental backups to catch any new or changed files. These local backups are stored on an external hard drive. That's all scheduled and done automatically with free backup software. I take that one step further, by using another program to keep three revisions of files in certain folders that I often work in.

Does that sound difficult or time-consuming? It's not, because once you have it set up, the process happens automatically. All your data is backed up, and you never have to think about it. All you need is an inexpensive USB flash drive or an external hard drive.

My ebook, Everything You Need to Know About BACKUPS, provides you with the knowledge, skills and tools to get it done! Everything is explained in plain English, with no geek-speak or technobabble. You might remember I offered a special $10 discount on the BACKUPS ebook earlier this month, when I launched the updated 7th Edition. In case you missed that opportunity, I'm making the ebook available again at that special price, starting today until World Backup Day, which is Thursday March 31st.

A Few More Pieces of the Backup Solution

So that covers the hard drive on your desktop or laptop. Have you thought about the data on your mobile gadgets? If your phone was stolen, or went through the wash, just imagine losing your address book, photos, apps and text messages. And here's something else to consider. More and more, our lives are moving online. What would you do if your email, your Facebook account, or online files got hacked, wiped out, or your password was lost?

The ebook also includes tips for backing up smartphones, passwords, social media accounts, email, your electrical power, your device drivers; what to do if you're hit by a ransomware attack, and LOTS more. See the information page for Everything You Need to Know About BACKUPS to get complete details, and the discounted price. (If you like, you can download and read some sample chapters of the BACKUPS ebook.)

That's all for today. Tomorrow I'll post some final thoughts about this topic. See you then! -- Bob

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