For many people, the computer is the most important tool at home. A lot of important data like letters, tax declarations, emails, credit card bills and medical information are stored on hard drives and CDs, as well as entire media collections, including movies, MP3, and digital photos. The computer is basically your perfect digital memory with plenty of vulnerable data that shouldn’t get lost.
Unfortunately, there are many ways you can lose data saved on a PC. The two most common ones are software or hardware failures. Viruses, Trojan horses, spy programs and other malware may corrupt the PC system. In some other cases, the PC operating system breaks because of an internal error and you can’t access your data. Only a few experienced computer users have the time and the knowledge to restore the data from a corrupted system. The easiest workaround to help you protect your data besides using a backup software is to save system, application and personal data on an separate partitions or hard disks.
Just the contrary, a hardware failure of a hard disk cannot be avoided that easily. Every storage medium, like CDs, USB sticks, Flash cards, and hard disks have only a limited life time. Especially hard disks are very sophisticated devices, but they contain many parts that can break easily the entire disk. There are a few companies that offer backup services even for broken hard disks but the prices for the backup of one hard disk can easily exceed the price of a brand new PC. The best way to protect your data is a copy on a second storage medium that is physically separated from the original data source. Please note, that saving data on another partition of the same hard disk will not prevent complete data loss in case of a hardware failure despite the fact that you are using a backup software.
Although almost every PC user is aware of the vulnerability and sensibility of his digital data, only a few make backups regularly, since it takes time and effort. The easiest way of saving all your data regularly is the usage of a backup software. There are some very sophisticated software solutions you can use for saving your data on other hard disks, CDs or even online hard disks. An online hard disk is a nice alternative for saving data, but you must consider that every online storage system might be hacked. In most programs, you specify several parameters like the backup schedule, the file type or the usage of compression and encryption methods.
All you need to do is to set up the program once, afterwards it is working fully automatically and your personal data is safe. In order to reduce the space and time requirements of the backup software, you should have your data well organized. Usually there is no need to safe your entire movie or MP3 collection several times a month, which will require just plenty of space. On the contrary, personal letters or work related data might be saved on a daily basis. So you should use the advanced options in order your backup software to perform different backup task on different backup folders.