In an instant, it can all be gone forever: irreplaceable photos; home videos; music; work files; even addresses and personalized app settings. If your mobile device is lost, stolen, broken, or hacked — or if your operating system crashes — you want to make sure you’ve #GotBackup!
The good news is, you can save yourself the grief of losing important files and other data by practising these smart mobile backup habits:
1 Always have your backup media ready
Whether you’re backing up to a trusted computer or directly to the cloud, make sure you have the storage capacity available for your files and operating system.
2 Know what is irreplaceable
Ask yourself: What photos, video and audio files, documents, records or settings are irreplaceable if you lost your device right now? You’ll want to back those up as often as you can.
3 Every day, back up your main files
Find out how to manually or automatically save all of your device’s files (documents, photos, videos, music, etc.) to a cloud-based account or to a trusted, secure computer at least once a day. This will allow you to recover these files in an emergency. Apple and Android mobile devices have many of these features available to most users: be sure to familiarize yourself with them to find a solution that meets your needs.
4 At least once a week, do a total backup
This is a back-up of your mobile device’s entire operating system and all of its files, essentially a “clone” of your all of device’s contents, settings, and apps that can be reloaded onto your device in the event of a technical failure, or loaded onto a replacement device in the case of irrecoverable loss.
5 Organize your files for archiving
Original files, like photos and video, are often assigned names like “IMG_2208.JPG” that make it hard to find a specific picture in an archive folder. When you copy your photos and videos to a computer and/or cloud storage, take the time to organize them. This can be done easily using free photo/video management software such as Apple Photos or Google Photos: the software tries to identify who or what is in your photos/videos, doing much of the work for you; you can also tag/label your media with names of people, events, topics, or locations; or, you can organize your media using specific folders, like “2016 Holiday in Quebec City” and rename individual files so that if you’re looking for “Aiden’s First Haircut” you can find it more easily.
6 Use multiple storage methods
If you back up your mobile data to a computer, also back the device and/or computer up to an external hard drive, or even a high-capacity USB stick. Then, if the computer “dies,” your data won’t! Many people who depend on cloud-based storage also keep “local” backup on hard drives, etc., in case there is a problem with the cloud provider or they lose their connection to the web.
7 Regularly check on your backups
Make sure drives and cloud accounts are functioning and that the data you backed-up is accessible and not corrupted. You can do this simply by “visiting” the backed up files and opening them up. If you suspect that your external drive is malfunctioning, your operating system has the tools to check it’s health.
When you get in the habit of always making sure your mobile data is backed up you’ll find that you have more peace of mind. And if the unexpected does happen, you can confidently say, “It’s OK! I’ve #GotBackup!”
To learn more, visit getcybersafe.ca/backup