How Often Should you Backup your Data?

The only way to ensure your data is truly safe is by backing it up – but how often should you backup your data?

Unfortunately, many people don’t start backing up their data until they experience a disaster like hard drive failure – but having a decent, solid data backup strategy in place is vital. After all, prevention is better than cure. Data loss can occur due to a number of reasons, such as human error, file corruption, theft, malware attack or even a natural disaster like a fire or flood.

How you go about backing up, including methods and how regular you do it, depends on whether you’re a business or simply a home user. For businesses, backing up is essential – a data loss incident could put you out of business. For home users, the impact of data loss will probably be more of an annoyance than a financial burden. However, there are things like photos and videos that hold sentimental value that you won’t want to lose, so backing up is still important if you’re a home user.

There are several data backup types to consider. The most complete form of backup is a full backup, which as the name suggests, involves backing up all data. With a full backup, restoration times are minimal. The downside to a full backup is that it takes time, requires lots of storage space, and can be a drain on your machine’s memory. That’s where incremental backups come in. In an incremental backup, only data that has been added or modified since the last backup is backed up – this is a much quicker backup method. However, restoration times are longer, as you’ll need to reconstruct using the last available full backup and each incremental backup made since.

The method of backup you choose and the frequency of your backups is down to your individual needs, but for businesses, daily backups are vital. A lost day of work could have big financial implications for your business. For home users, the general advice we’d give, as obvious as this might sound, is to back up anything you don’t want to lose. As for the frequency, it really depends on what you’re using your computer or laptop for. An ideal solution would be to schedule a backup once a week, and go from there – you might find you’re not actually creating that much new data.

Data Backup