How to prepare for computer crashes
Most discussions about loss of data or computers being inoperable lately are related to viruses, malware, ransomware, or cyber events. However, remember that computers crash for all sorts of reasons and sometimes it’s just an old-fashioned hardware failure.
There are simple hardware failures and some are more complex, but at the core, the problem is your system is not operable, and sometimes even worse, your data may be completely lost as a result.
Here are a few Tech Corner tips to help you prepare should this happen.
Have a backup routine, and use it regularly
It’s not enough to backup your computer every once in a while; you should back up your system on a routine. The amount of time between backups depends on how regularly you use your computer. If you utilize your system daily and store a large number of files, you should be backing up daily. If you are a less regular user and only store a bit of data, you can most likely get away with weekly or monthly backups. Imagine if you had a hardware failure, and everything was gone… Would you be okay with reverting back to your last set of backups to get you back in business? If the answer to that is no, revise your routine – immediately.
Don’t leave your backup device connected
This is a common mistake, but don’t leave the device that you utilize for your backups connected at all times. Perform your backup, and safely remove the device from your system. This saves the longevity of the backup device as well as removes the risk of it becoming infected by an attack to your PC.
Use multiple backup methods
This is critical for those that are active users storing a large number of files and data on their machines. Have more than one backup method, such as a local backup (external USB), as well as a subscription to a reputable online backup service that has a copy of your data, safe and secure at another location. Just as computers fail, external drives fail. Don’t have all of your important information only in one place.
Check your backups often, test your files
Another common mistake is performing backups, but not testing them. Perform regular “restores” of your files as a spot check. Make sure you can actually restore your files, and they are backing up as you had intended. It’s very unfortunate when a failure happens and you resort to your backups, to find that they hadn’t backed up in ages, or that the files don’t even work.