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Use Social Isolation Time to Backup Right Now

The world is in a very weird position right now. With coronavirus spreading throughout every country, many citizens have been forced into lockdown for their own protection. Dubbed ‘social distancing’, the idea is that people don’t engage in their normal social activities in order to minimise the spread of the virus and stop the national health services becoming overwhelmed.

Coronavirus isn’t going away any time soon and it’s likely that social isolation and lockdowns will continue for months as governments scramble to test, research, and hopefully produce a vaccine for this new virus.

As such, you might have found yourself with a lot of spare time on your hands. Time that would have normally been spent commuting to work, hanging out with friends, or even going to the movies, is now back in your hands. What are you going to do with it?

Of course, the answer to that might be lounging around and catching up on the latest TV series. That’s perfectly acceptable! But you should also use some of the time to get your backups in order to make sure that all your personal data is safe.

Depending on your situation, you might not be able to go to the shops right now or get deliveries in order to get new drives to go into your backup plan. As such, let’s focus on the backup tips that you can follow without buying new equipment.

First, decide what you need to backup. Ideally, you would have a direct image of your system – this means that, should the entire system fail, you don’t need to reinstall the operating system, programs, and so on. However, this will take up a lot of space, and is best done on physical drives.

As such, let’s focus on personal data that cannot be recovered – that’s photos, videos, documents, audio, and so on. Data that doesn’t exist anywhere else and is unique to you.

If you’re on a phone, your choices will depend on your manufacturer. For example, if you have an iPhone then you can pay for iCloud storage or connect your phone to your computer and sync to its hard drive. On the other hand, Samsung has a utility called Smart Switch to link the phone to the computer. Their phones also allow for expansion onto SD cards, so you could transfer the data to that and then take it elsewhere.

For a computer, there are many cloud programs available that will automatically sync your data. Various options include Google Backup & Sync, Amazon’s unlimited photo backup, OneDrive which comes with Windows 10, and more. These programs can be used for a one-off backup or for a continuous sync.

Ideally, your private data shouldn’t be in the cloud (it’s always best not to entrust someone else with your data) and should be backed up off-site to a physical offline drive. In these current times that may not be possible, so do the best you can right now and use a combination of local and cloud solutions.


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