If you’ve ever had a project that you’ve invested hours in suddenly disappear, then you know the hopeless feeling that comes with it. You also know that something must be done to prevent future data loss.
Why Computer Backup is Necessary
For designers who have never experienced the loss of a project or file, it’s often difficult to understand why computer backup is necessary. Well, even as the quality of hardware and technology improves, the risks remain powerful and ubiquitous.
Here are just a few of the reasons why it’s necessary to backup your files:
- Natural disasters. When it comes to things like tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and lighting strikes, you can’t control what happens to your files. Water damage, electrical surges, and other issues can leave you without important data.
- Hardware failure. Perhaps the most common cause of data loss is hardware failure. Regardless of how new or advanced your computer is, it could cause problems without so much as a warning. Sometimes files can be recovered, while other times they’re lost forever.
- Viruses and hackers. Cybersecurity threats are on the rise and it’s possible that you could lose valuable projects and files via malicious attacks. Not only does this mean you lose your data, but somebody else is able to get their hands on it.
As you can see, there are potential threats coming at you from every angle. If you haven’t been forced to deal with data loss yet, it’s unfortunately only a matter of time.
3 Things You Can Do
“When your hardware is stolen, damaged, or suffers a crash, you not only have to replace the device, but if you don’t have a backup, you also have to pay for restoration,” Diskcopy explains. “There are some instances in which lost data can be restored, but this is a costly process and is often imperfect.”
The good news is that it’s possible to lower your risk of losing files and data by leveraging the right solutions. Here are a few effective options worth considering:
Portable Hard Drives
For some individuals, a portable hard drive is the most economical and practical choice. As designer Preston Lee says, “I mostly design for the web, so my files aren’t quite as large as a print designer, flash editor, video editor etc. So I’m not embarrassed to tell you that I keep all the PSD and Illustrator files on an external hard drive as well as stored online through my hosting services Dreamhost, where I get unlimited storage space for a pretty good price.”
There are plenty of cost-effective portable hard drive solutions on the market, so definitely consider this option as a starting point.
Mac Time Machine
If you have a Mac with OS X, you have access to Apple’s Time Machine technology, which gives you the ability to continuously run a backup solution in the background. All you need is an additional hard drive and you can configure the preferences directly on your computer.
Cloud Storage Solutions
If you don’t want to mess with a physical hard drive, then you can always opt to backup your files using a cloud storage solution. You can use something free and easy like Dropbox or Google Drive. There are also a variety of other paid services for larger needs.
Take Action Today
There’s no time to sit back and watch. Just because you’ve never suffered the loss of an important file doesn’t mean it won’t happen in the future. There are plenty of affordable solutions and you have ample opportunities to take preventative action.
Do so today in order to protect your work and your career.