What began as a sort of joke before April Fools' Day is now something to take very seriously. World Backup Day is Friday and people around the world are being encouraged, even urged, to backup their computers and devices.
According to recent statistics, studies and reports, about 30% of people have never backed up their computer. That's risky because one bad moment can erase photos, documents, music and any other data stored on a computer.
Backing up a computer can be very easy or time consuming, depending on how you want to do it and how much money you'd like to spend.
The easiest way to backup things on a computer is with a cloud-based storage and backup from a service such as Carbonite or Mozy.
These sites require you to download a program which immediately starts backing up everything on your main hard drive which includes the operating system.
This option is good for anyone who'd rather not think about working too hard to backup their computer.
These services continually backup new files that are added to the hard drive without the user needing to do anything.
The backup is done continually. It can then be downloaded back to a computer if something were to happen to the hard drive.
Depending on the size of your hard drive the initial backup can take days, or even a week to complete.
Files can also be accessed from a smartphone via an app.
Both services are similar in price.
A basic subscription to Carbonite is $59/year. Mozy charges $6 for up to 50gb of data.
If you don't mind doing the work yourself an external hard drive will work just as well.
A 1 TB drive is around $50 and should be plenty for most computer users. This option requires the user to manually backup the data.
Some hard drives do include software to make this easier.
You will need to backup the drive frequently to save any new files that are added.
It is a good idea to store the backup drive somewhere other than your computer desk and removed from an internet connection. Malware and ransomware that attack a computer can often spread itself to any connected drives.
If you are primarily concerned about losing photos and videos, a cloud based backup such as Google Photos is enough, and it's free.
Once you have an account you can add folders to the Google Photos cloud drive where they will stay.
There's unlimited storage!
You can also set up your phone to automatically send and save every photo you take to Google Photos. This can also be done using a Dropbox or Box account.
The important thing is to take a moment, or part of a weekend to backup the important things on your hard drive.