Last week, on March 31st, many people celebrated World backup day – did you? In honour of this awareness day, we look at the importance of making regular IT backups. If this is not part of your current security strategy, then you may want to change that… and here are 6 reasons why.

What is a backup?

A backup is essentially a copy of the information stored on your computer, tablet or smartphone. In the event of a data loss, a backup can be used to restore the information. For those who have ever lost important data – personal photographs or perhaps an important document – taking backups is a ‘no-brainer’. In fact, so many people recognise the value of a backup that there is an awareness day devoted to it: World Backup Day. Rather like the old puppy adage, taking a backup is not something to do once or twice, or simply when you remember to do so, however. Instead, taking regular backups should be part of your overall cyber security set-up.

The importance of taking regular backups

In IT, information and data can be lost as a result of a hard drive failure, a cyber-attack – such as a ransomware attack – physical theft and human error. A backup is highly recommended so that you can store your information in a secure, separate location from where your original devices are (i.e., The cloud). According to the World Backup Day website, however, more than one in five people have still never backed up their devices as of 2022. Here are some more eye-opening numbers from the official site:

  • 113 phones are lost or stolen every minute
  • 30% of all computers are already infected with malware
  • 29% of data loss cases are the result of an accident

It is important to note that backups are but one vital ingredient in an overall cyber security strategy.

Taking a backup

When seeking to protect information such as address books, pictures, audio files, emails or documents, there are many methods to consider. Your devices will typically have options and the amount of space on offer may be sufficient. Take a moment now to check your smartphone if you have one. This writer has a Samsung Galaxy Android device, for example. As well as its own storage capabilities, there are also backup options via:

  • Samsung Cloud
  • Google Drive
  • External SD cards / USB storage devices

To go deeper with this particular example, a great article to read is this: ’10 Best Android backup apps and other ways to backup Android’ (Android Authority)

Why take a backup?

If you are still asking that question then here are those 6 reasons we mentioned… 6 from a much bigger list, of course:

  • To prevent data loss
  • Ensure you have a ‘Plan B’ (never lost a smartphone? Have security software installed? Never forget the risk of natural or man-made disasters, i.e., Storms and – Heaven forbid – warfare)
  • Improve archiving practices
  • Maximise business efficiency / minimise time wastage (i.e., No need for employees to have to rewrite reports)
  • Strengthen investor relations (backups can reduce the time required to compile annual reports)
  • Peace of Mind (in the event of a cyber-attack or system failure – for example – you can rest assured that there is a backup ready and waiting)

Do you take IT backups on a regular basis? If you did not before reading this, then hopefully that will change in the weeks and months ahead.

And finally… today is another ‘awareness day’: Error 404 Day

That is correct, there is another day devoted to something you probably know of but thought little about. ‘Error 404’ is a status code returned by a web server when a resource that cannot be found on the server is requested. Typically, you will come across the 404 error when requesting a webpage that has been deleted or moved. You may also happen upon it if you enter a URL incorrectly. Happy Error 404 day!