Protect your digital assets with a 3-2-1 backup plan

As a web cam model and performer, your digital assets are not just important for marketing and promotion, they can also be an additional source of revenue. They are your products. Just like any other small business you need to protect and backup your products against loss, theft, or disaster.

No matter how nice your desktop or laptop is, using your computer as your sole storage device is pretty dangerous. Should your computer be lost, stolen or destroyed in any way and your files unrecoverable it won’t just suck, it would set your business back into the stone age having to start over and re-accumulate new assets.

There is no reason not to have a backup in this day and age. Most small businesses with 1 or 2 computers can do it in less time than it takes to watch a House Hunters rerun on HGTV.

The 3-2-1 backup plan

 

1. Keep at least three copies of your data (images, videos, contacts).

That includes the original copy and at least two backups.

2. Keep the backed-up data on two different storage types

The chances of having two failures of the same storage type are much better than for two completely different types of storage. Therefore, if you have data stored on an internal hard drive, make sure you have a secondary storage type, such as external or removable hard drive storage, or NAS ( Network Attached Storage).

3. Keep at least one backup copy of the data offsite

Even if you have two copies on two separate storage types but both are stored onsite, a local disaster could wipe out both of them. Keep a third copy in an offsite location, like the cloud. (Source: Carbonite)

Register your computer

If you’re using Windows and haven’t done so yet create a Microsoft account, and register your computer and your Windows key as another fail safe. Should you need to do a complete purge of your hard drive and reinstall Windows, you will be able to go back to your Microsoft account, grab your key, and finish the installation of Windows on your new drive without having to buy a new license.

If you’re using a Mac, same thing. Create your Apple ID in case catastrophe happens and you need to reinstall your operating system on a new hard drive.

External Hard Drive backup – Onsite

An external hard drive is probably the easiest, and cheapest solution to start putting together your 3-2-1 backup of your computer and files. A decent 500GB- 1TB hard drive is under $100, and is small enough to fit into your pocket. The process of backing up onto an external drive pretty much amounts to plugging the drive into a USB port and following the steps.

I prefer to unplug my external drive after making a backup just in case my computer is compromised or infected, everything attached to it may also be compromised, making my backup drive pretty worthless. Of course that means that it cannot backup automatically, so that means you have to remember to regularly update it with a recent version of your files.


NAS (Network Attached Storage) – Onsite

In addition to multiple external backups, I also use a WD 4TB My Cloud EX2 Ultra Network Attached Storage . Basically a little mini server that you can set up on your network to store files, and of course backups of the files on your computer. NAS is great because (depending on the size) they offer more tools and options to store files from multiple devices on your network including backing up images and other media, and you can access most NAS devices remotely.

Many NAS devices also allow you to chain multiple devices together from different locations, basically creating your own cloud backup and off site storage solution.

Setting up Network Attacked Storage is relatively easy but there may be a little learning curve if it’s your first time. Which ever NAS device you choose will have it’s own installation instructions for you to follow, but they are all basically the same set up.

Once your NAS is set up you can follow the same steps to use it as your backup destination as above, simply choosing a folder on your NAS device as the destination to store or backup your files. Since a NAS connected to your network, you can set automatic backups to perform daily, weekly, monthly or whatever you prefer, or is right for your situation.


 

Microsoft One Drive backup- (Cloud)

Remember above when I mentioned that you get a free TB of cloud storage with your Microsoft account? Well, you can use that as a cloud backup for your files. If you have over a TB of files to store you may want to consider buying more space, or backing up the most important files to stay within the 1TB limit.

Check out the video for instructions on how to set up your Windows 10 computer to back up to your One Drive account:

Carbonite backup (Cloud)Protect your files with Carbonite cloud backup now!


If you’ve never seen a Carbonite commercial, it’s a very easy to use cloud backup (offsite), and restoration service for personal computers and business back ups. They have plans for single computers, entire offices, or full server backups.

Using Carbonite is really as simple as creating an account, choosing a plan, installing the software, and choosing what you need backed up, how often, and pressing the button. Even my Mom can use it.

 

Google Backup (Cloud)

News broke last month that Google will start to offer a backup service for your computer. According to The Verge:

Google is turning Drive into a much more robust backup tool. Soon, instead of files having to live inside of the Drive folder, Google will be able to monitor and backup files inside of any folder you point it to. That can include your desktop, your entire documents folder, or other more specific locations.

The backup feature will come out later this month, on June 28th, in the form of a new app called Backup and Sync.

Be on the lookout for this feature as I think it will be a great option for anyone needing that additional cloud backup option.

Conclusion

Obviously you can use any products or services that get the job done. The important take away here is that there is no excuse not to have a 3-2-1 backup plan. There is no way to predict what kind of disaster could befall your computer or business on any given day. After a disaster has struck it’s too late. You won’t be able to turn back time and make it all go away with magic.

You should weigh the cost of which solutions to use vs. the cost of having disaster happen and not being able to recover your files, operating system,  client information and having to start from scratch.

Once you’re all set up, (and keep your backups current), if disaster does strike you (or a tech) can literally snatch the hard drives out of all of your computers, replace them with new hard drives, apply your back ups and never skip a beat. I don’t know about you, but to me that kind of peace of mind is almost priceless.