Best Practice: How often should I backup my data?
With regards to backups and images of data, we are often asked how regular one should carry out a backup or image. This article gets to grips with the advantages and risks associated with a regular backup strategy, or lack of.
How often should a Data Backup be made?
The answer to this question depends on how often existing data is changed and new files are created. The relevance and originality of the data and also the personal security needs of the user also have to be taken into account when making this decision.
If a computer is only used very rarely to create new documents or documents and files are very rarely changed then a monthly backup would probably suffice under these circumstances.
Regular users and private use
If a computer is used regularly and documents and data are altered regularly then a backup should be made at least once a week.
Power users and business use
Should a computer be used heavily on a daily basis or it is used for business and commercial use then it is recommended that a daily backup is carried out. In order to reduce any downtime in the event of a crash or similar then a full system “Image” can be created which can be restored quickly as part of a “Disaster Recovery” strategy.
Back up your computer regularly and save the backup where possible on a separate external hard disk or drive – definitely not on the same disk that you are making a backup from! Splitting the backup file into smaller files and saving them in different places also increases security. It also has the effect of offering better protection against damage through theft or flood for instance as not all the backup is held in one single location.
Generally the following applies: the more important and valuable your data is, the higher the need to regularly back it up!
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