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Jamie Durham
IT Correspondent
12:02 PM 28th September 2019

Why Is Backing Up Important?

In a world where ransomware has become big business for rogue countries and states, it is more important than ever to be backing up your data on a regular basis.

In a nutshell, ransomware is a virus or script that encrypts your information, meaning it becomes unusable. The cyber-criminal will then send details of how to pay the ransom – usually in the form of a cryptocurrency like bitcoin – in order for you to acquire your data back.

The latest versions of these forms of attacks target the backed-up infrastructure, which can be a nightmare for consumers.

If this kind of cyber-attack ever happens to you, it is far better to write the data off instead of paying the money.

In truth, backing up your data can be a straight-forward task, which doesn’t have to break the bank, so why should you invest?

Is it affordable?

Luckily, we live in a time where data storage prices are at an all-time low and securing huge amounts of information is cheap – especially for home users. However, it is essential that your backup is not physically connected to your machine, including network attached storage (NAS drives for short) as it increases your vulnerability.

There are several methods which allow you do this with varying degrees of complexity, but for the home user – who has to deal with all of life's pressures and may not see a computer or laptop as critical – sticking to an online solution is recommended.

Online, cloud or off-site backup is simply storage space on the internet that is accessed via a program on your computer.

The benefits of this may seem obvious, but not all products are the same. Some do not have a revision history, which could mean your PC backs up the incorrect files and replaces the latest version, so it’s important to do your research before committing to one.

Is it secure?

It can be argued nothing is ever truly secure, due to many factors such as human error. But data that’s stored in the cloud is safer than on your computer, if you choose the right software and set the correct security methods for accessing it that is!

Your chosen virtual provider should store data in ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certified centres – or the American equivalent – which you will be able to find in their company information.

You should also set a two-factor authentication on all of your accounts. This means a secondary alternate method is used to verify who you are at the login stage – this can be delivered via a text message, email or through an app like Google Authenticator.

What’s on the market?

Here is a quick look at the benefits and pricing of some of the products that can offer the best backup security and value for money.

Backblaze

Cost: $6 per month
Features: unlimited backup for one PC or laptop, external hard drives supported, snapshot and revision history, EU storage, two-factor authentication and multiple restore options including a shipped physical disk containing your data, for an extra charge.

Carbonite

Cost: $6 -$9.34 per month
Features: unlimited backup for one PC or laptop, external hard drives supported (for the higher price of $9.34 per month), snapshot and revision history, US storage, two-factor authentication and multiple restore options including a shipped physical disk containing your data, for an extra charge.

Google drive backup and restore

Cost: Free to 15GB or $9.99 for 1TB of storage
Features: external hard drives supported (for the higher price of $9.99 per month), snapshot and revision history, EU storage and two-factor authentication.

Keeping memories and important documents safe in the modern world is affordable and secure. When backing up your data costs as little as a large coffee, there really is no excuse to not invest for extra peace of mind.