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Have you been backing up your computer? If you’re like the rest of us poor sinning mortals, you probably haven’t. It might not have even crossed your mind.

And why should it? Very few people suffer the theft of their laptops or the crashing of hard drives, so it’s easy to assume that our files are safe. We have nothing to worry about, right?

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Still, it’s wise to take a few precautions. Given what’s at stake, we should be backing up our computers routinely. If a power outage or accident destroys your computer, you could lose years of photos or business files, and if someone steals your laptop, you could lose all of the data for a project you’ve been working on for months. As a writer who has rough drafts for up to a dozen clients in my computer at any one time, I certainly couldn’t afford to take chances.

Data backup might not be as critical for your career, but you’ll probably feel the pain from data loss if your computer fails or is stolen.

What can you do, then? What means do you need for backing up your computer?For the most complete protection, you’ll need to combine local backup with cloud storage.


PCs and Macs already have built-in backup systems that are highly reliable, but you’ll need an external hard drive to use them properly. Seagate and Western Digital offer reasonably-priced models with solid reputations.. As a rule, your external drive should have at least as much capacity as your internal drive. Ideally, it will have 50% to 100% more.

Windows 10  (File History/ Backup and Restore)

Microsoft offers integrated backup with Windows 10. Plug in your hard drive, and find your File History setting. Select the folders you want backed up, and how often you want Windows to do it. You will need to keep your hard drive plugged in for the backup function.

Mac OS X  (Time Machine)

Mac offers a unique tool called Time Machine. Just plug in your hard drive and open Time Machine for configuration as your backup drive. The software will handle the backing up of your files automatically, at scheduled intervals. If you need to reset your Mac, or you buy a new one, OS X will prompt you to enable Time Machine backup to restore your files from.


Local backup is important, but it’s vulnerable. Like hard drives and other hardware, local backup is subject to destruction, theft, or loss. For complete protection, then, consider cloud storage. For individual files, the simplest means of cloud backup is with online systems such as Dropbox, iCloud, OneDrive, and Google Drive. All enable scanning of local folders and simple uploading of them to the cloud. Then, even if your computer is destroyed, you can log into your account and open your files from anywhere.

If you need even more protection, you might consider a subscription service such as Backblaze. It costs $5.00 per month or $50.00 per year. It’s not as convenient for casual use as Dropbox or Google Drive, but it is highly secure full-service cloud storage.


With a few simple precautions, backing up your files and preventing critical data loss will be easy.


(For the internet service that works best for you, talk to us. We can help.)