Now that we’ve been over the basics of backup and what the most common types of backup are used for, the next thing we would like to address are some of the reasons why people don’t backup their data. People can use alternative methods what can often be confused for forms of backup. Below you can find our short video guide which can help you avoid falling into the trap of this.
File Replication Software
People will use file replication software that is often synchronised automatically with your files on your computer, in order to create a copy of whatever you want. This is often over the internet through cloud-based software/storage (examples of this are Dropbox, Office 365, Google Drive and iCloud) Because of this people can think that this is a form of online backup. Unfortunately this is not the case.
Due to how this type of software works, the ability to automatically sync with your files, can actually work against you. An example of this would be if the original data was corrupted or edited, the synced file will be also. Some software offers versioning, which can help avoid this issue. However, it’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t backup!
Let’s say you lose your data/it gets corrupted, and so following this you try to log in to your cloud account and find you’re locked out for whatever reason. You can now no longer access this data, potentially leaving you stuck. The same situation can be applied to if you’re data is encrypted by a virus or your account is hacked. All of these leave you with possibility with having lost your data. And while it is unlikely to happen, it definitely can. Is it worth risking?
Using real backup methods can avoid this all together.
Depending on how techy you are this one will either make a lot of sense, or not much at all. So, to cover all bases, here is a brief summary of what a RAID setup is:
RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks and is essentially a setup of disks that is used to ensure reliability and constant uptime – typically used for things such as servers. A server will run on a set of disks and it can afford to lose access to a disk but continue to work. Allowing for you to fix the issue with the first disk whilst also making sure regular service carries on. These setups can be scaled up to contain many disks, used by big companies and data centres.
Now we’ve roughly gone over what a RAID is, we can say why it’s not a form of backup. This is a fairly common misconception if you’re unfamiliar with it. It might seem obvious, but RAIDs are very useful for countering hardware errors and ensuring reliability. However, they don’t backup your data they just keep the hardware your data is on running.
An easy way of explaining why people can be confused by this is that it can be described as like having a backup disk to run off. If your data is corrupted or lost on a RAID system it can’t be recovered from it. RAID would just make sure that it’s always accessible physically.
So, if the data on the RAID is corrupted then you’re a bit stuck.
A Company/Software I Use Stores it for Me
This is where a service you use will store the data on their end, and according to GDPR guidelines, it will normally be kept safe. On top of this companies that store large amounts of data should be backing this up on their end too. Normally this would be fine if the service runs as normal.
This however can really throw people off if for whatever reason that service is disrupted. It could be as simple as a communication error, or something as serious as data corruption or loss on their end. In both cases you won’t have access to your data. This can be detrimental if you need the data for something time sensitive.
Independently backing up your data acts as an extra layer of reliability and security.
An example of this is that we personally use an accountancy software where the provider stores the data, but on top of this we also backup the same data elsewhere. In the rare case we can’t access it via the software we have the peace of mind that we can access it when we need to.
This is particularly helpful for data we might need to keep for legal compliance reasons. This way we know we’re covered for definite. It’s worth thinking if spending a small amount is something you’d be willing to do for the extra security and peace of mind.