You will no doubt have heard this before. You should: backup, backup and then backup again...
If you have already lost your data, sadly this post won't help you get it back - see our other resources/services for that. However if you have been wondering what you can do to make sure you are well insulated from ever having to have data recovered again. Then - this post is for you.
The Principals behind Backing-up your data:
1. 'Sh1t happens'
You will have no doubt heard the expression. Nobody thinks it will happen to them - till it does. The point here ,is you should assume you will have an incident(s) where you will find your computer/device malfunctions and your data has gone. But, you have put means in place to do something about it.
If you think the odds of that happening are very low. Then please see our Data Recovery quiz. As an example, a datacentre survey showed that around 22% of their hard drives failed within 4 years. SSDs are not 100% reliable either. They also can - and do - fail. Then there are viruses or hack attacks. All said, there is a reasonable chance you will lose data from data storage device breakdowns at some time.
You should thus always - Backup - i.e. keep a copy of your information on a separate drive/device.
2. Do it often
If you took your last backup some time before you created or amended the file(s) you are trying to get back. Then it won't be of much use to you. To be useful, your backup process should be frequent enough so that you know you can get your important files back.
How often you backup is often related to how important your files are. For important files your backup process should be often enough so that they get included without any delay. Your general working files, ones that perhaps you could recreate without too much difficulty, you may choose to include on a less periodic basis.
3. Focus on the files that are REALLY important to you
What we are talking about here - are the files you will really miss and feel bad about losing. Most often these will be things not easily replaced - like family photos.
We suggest you make sure these files get the full Backup treatment. We recommend you have them stored in at least 3 trusted locations/devices.
4. Different Locations
This is really important. If your backup drive is e.g. sitting next to your computer and you are unfortunate enough to get robbed, have a fire etc. Then the backup drive will likely have gone the same way as your device. Another example is using a cloud service for backup. They can provide large amounts of relatively cheap storage. But if you e.g. forget to pay your subscription. Then you could easily lose your data when the service stops. At the very least, it will stop backing up your files. This, sadly is not a particularly unusual occurrence.
We suggest you have at least 2 copies of important files, that are in 2 different locations. Perhaps one is a Cloud provider and one is portable drive. However either way, you have files in a minimum of your device and 2 other trusted locations. Doing this will give you a much better chance of not losing your files and e.g. needing our Data Recovery service