Four Things To Do On World Backup Day

By | March 31st, 2017

World Backup Day 2017

Happy World Backup Day! Are you backed up? If not, you should be! And if you are backing up, now’s the time to check to make sure your backup is doing what it’s supposed to. On this day, we thought we’d offer a few backup pointers to make sure you’re on the right track.

World Backup Day was thought up a few years ago to help remind us that backing up your data is important. While we at Backblaze didn’t have anything to do with its creation, it’s an idea that we certainly support. Because *every* day is World Backup Day at Backblaze.

1. Be Wary Of New Threats

Even if you regularly back up your computer, problems can stop you in your tracks. Malware and ransomware are prominent issues. Anti-virus and anti-malware software apps don’t always detect new exploits in a timely fashion.

Malware infection symptoms range from the annoying – browser redirects, crashes and slowdowns – to the downright extortionate, like our own Elli’s experience with ransomware.

Elli was protected with a Backblaze backup. The alternative would have been to either lose data or pay off ransomware hackers – either way, not a pretty picture.

2. Keep Your Backups Close

Don’t make your backup strategy dependent on a single point of failure. Hedge your bets by having more than one backup to restore from in the event of an emergency.

One solution is to keep a local backup copy on hand and another one offsite. Backblaze makes it easy with our unlimited, unthrottled cloud backup service available for one low price – just $5 per month.

Keep a local backup copy on hand and another one offsite.

Apple’s Time Machine, Microsoft’s Windows Backup, and many other apps let you create a local backup copy you can restore from quickly and easily. If anything goes wrong with that backup, or if you need to access your backup files when you’re away from your computer, you can restore from your cloud backup.

It’s part of the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy, which we think is a good start to make sure your data is safe.

3. Check Your Backup

If you already back up your computer, terrific. World Backup Day is just one day a year, but hopefully your backups happen more frequently. Take some time today to check your backup. Make sure the files you need are where they’re supposed to be.

Testing your backups should be an essential part of your overall backup strategy. Make sure you’re backing up what you need to. Also make sure the backups themselves work as they’re supposed to, by restoring files and checking them. A practical benefit of doing this is to gain familiarity with the process. That way, you’ll be experienced with what to do when it matters.

With Backblaze, it takes only a few mouse clicks to confirm your files are backed up.

Need more guidance to test your backups? We have you covered: Read up on
How To Test Your Backup.

4. Keep Up To Date on Backup Best Practices

Don’t be an April Fool. Despite the ubiquity of digital devices in our life, we’re complacent about the safety of our data. About a third of us have never backed up our computer.

Testing your backups should be an essential part of your overall backup strategy.

If you’re in that group, there are ways to keep your Mac or PC data safe. Visit our Computer Backup Guide to learn more. We’ll help you break down the why, what and how of computer backups.

If you already use Backblaze, make sure to catch up on our best practices, like testing the Backblaze backup service, using appropriate security measures, and restoring data to test integrity.

If you have ideas about backup practices or questions you’d like help with, join the discussion!

Peter Cohen
Peter will never give you up, never let you down, never run around or desert you. He also manages the Backblaze blog.

Follow Peter on:
His web site: peter-cohen.com | Twitter: @flargh | LinkedIn: Peter Cohen | Google+: Peter Cohen
Category:  Backing Up
  • For me by far the most depressing aspect of a dead drive or PC is losing all the software and settings, rather than data. My data is easy to back up onto a thumb drive.

    Starting again with a fresh install of the OS, then installing all the old software, then an entire day or five with the “updates of updates of updates” game… urgh!

    Thanks for the reminder – one thing I do is have an identical drive in my PC, disconnected. Once a year I reconnect it, completely clone my C: drive onto it, test it can boot up and run OK with the clone, then disconnect it. That way if my main drive dies I can literally just plug in a clone of it and boot up with my software and settings as I like em.

    That’s far too much hassle to do on a frequent basis though – are you guys ever going to offer such a cloning service? I currently have Backblaze but as I recall you’re only backing up my documents and files, not the software and settings?

    • You are correct: Backblaze doesn’t back up apps, operating system files or temporary files like caches. Cloning is your best bet to create a bootable replacement drive in the event of an catastrophe. Once a year seems infrequent enough that you might have to spend some time after a restore to get everything up to date, so it’d be great to cut down that potential time waster.

      How are you managing your clones? We have some cloning tips here that might be helpful in establishing a regular routine: https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-to-clone-hard-drive/

      • No real management at all, just a clone inside the same PC. The advantage is “restoring from a backup” is literally a matter of undoing 4 screws, pulling the case off the PC, pulling the drive cable off the bad disk and plugging it into the good. Replace case and screws then boot up.

        Downside of course is if the PC is stolen or in a fire then both drives are lost. I’ve lived in Malaysia now about 15 years and for some reason the local hardware just doesn’t last. I have averaged buying a new PC to urgently replace one that died halfway through a project no less than 8 times in those 15 years! Floods, fire and theft have never been a problem; dead hard drives have been by far the most common issue, followed by something on the motherboard.

        So I figured I should just presume the drive is going to fail, and have a spare already configured with everything needed, just ready to go. Great plan – and since doing that this PC has been by far the most reliable Malaysian PC I’ve ever had! It’s about 3 years old now and still works perfectly.

        Life, eh?

        I deliberately don’t re-clone too often, because as your linked article points out, you end up cloning all the gumpth you don’t want. I like to make a weekend of it, removing all the old files and apps I can, a spring-clean, and then clone it.

        But yeah, I really should get a 3rd drive cloned and store it somewhere else. Thanks for the link.

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