Have you ever spent a lot of time creating a document, only to find out later that you can't find it on your computer or that you have overwritten it with other content. It's at times like this having a proper backup system in place is necessary. Over the years many different types of storage devices have come and gone. Currently there are still many easy ways to duplicate your word documents, images, videos and other files.
Keep multiple copies of important files on your Desktop, PC or tablet
Most people create their original Word documents, Power point presentations, Excel document and other files on a PC, laptop or tablet. The original version of the document is then stored on this device. Many of these devices have a number of different drive partitions where you can store data. It is advisable to keep your original files on a separate drive to your operating system. This will prevent viruses spreading from these files to the operating system. As you make changes you may want to put a timestamp on the name of the file each time its update.
Use DVD or CD's
A few years ago burning data onto a CD or DVD was the most popular way to store and backup your files. Newer technologies have replaced this method. However, this is still a viable way to safely backup your files for later use. Once they are burned to a CD or DVD they can be stored safely in a secure location for future use.
Store data online in the cloud
Storing your documents, images, videos and other important digital files online is a relatively new way to store and backup files. There are many cloud solutions that give you this option including OneDrive, DropBox and Google Drive. This is an affordable way to store files and is maintained by another party. However, there may be limitations to the amount you can store. Make sure you use a trusted cloud provider who will give you plenty of storage space, won't suddenly close down their service and don't provide an unsecure service.
USB Flash Drives
USB Flash Drives are one of the most portable ways to store and transfer data. These small solid-state drives are small enough to carry around in your pocket or attach to a keyring. You simply insert it into a computers USB port and copy the files you want to backup. On the negative side, the size of these storage devices is also a disadvantage because you can easily lose these items. If you lose your USB Flash Drive you lose your data too and it could fall into the wrong hands.
Use your Smartphone when you're away from your laptop, tablet or PC.
A Smartphone may not be the most obvious way to keep a backup of a particular file. However, today's smartphones have a huge capacity and are compatible with a wide range of software applications. If you store files on your phone they can be easily transferred to other devices by using a USB cable or email. If you decide to use your phone for this purpose you may need to free up some space on your phone by rooting your device. This option is available for Android users. The best way to root Android phones is to use the services of online providers who specialise in this area.
Store files in a safe place on External hard drives
These portable drives can be plugged into other devices including PC's, laptops, tablets, mobile devices and other devices. You can backup data on these drives and put them away until the information is required. However, these devices can be more expensive than other backup solutions and inferior models are not always reliable.
For some people, losing digital files is a hassle. For others it can be a disaster. Many people forget to back up their files or store backups on less than ideal storage devices. The problem gets worse if you lose an important file or document. However, there are many options available when it comes to digital storage and you should think carefully before choosing a backup plan.