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World Backup Day: 5 myths about backups debunked

World Backup Day will be taking place this Sunday 31st March. Because, remember, it is a complete misconception that your data can never fall prey to the dangers lurking out there. So, we debunk this – and other – hard-to-shake myths about backups.

1. “The chance of me losing my files is small”
Your files may be threatened by all sorts of minor glitches or major disasters (a defective hard disk, malware, theft, fire, water damage or simply dropping your laptop). And while the chance of this happening to you may not be very big, if it does, then the potential impact can be enormous. So, having a good backup strategy is your best insurance policy against losing those irreplaceable photos, videos and documents.

2. “If I keep a copy of my most important files in the cloud, then I’m safe”
Backing up to the cloud is a good start, but it can be less safe than you think. Malware, hackers, a problem with your cloud service or being locked out of your account are all you need for your files to go up in smoke. So never put all your eggs in one basket.

3. “Making a backup every couple of months is all I need”
It is unlikely that you will produce so few digital files (think of your work documents alone – not to mention photos, videos and so on) that a backup frequency of two months would be a good idea. When deciding on your backup frequency, you need to ask yourself how much data you would lose if your files disappeared forever just before your next scheduled backup.

4. “Backing up data takes unnecessary time and effort”
Yes, making backups requires organisation, but once everything’s in place, it becomes part of your routine and really doesn’t take very much effort at all. In fact, you can minimise the time you need to make backups by setting it to be done automatically. That way there’s also no risk that you’ll forget.
And compared with the potential effects of losing your data, creating backups is really worth making just a small effort.

5. “I don’t store my files on my computer, but on an external hard drive – it’s safer”
If you only store your files on an external hard drive, then you only have one copy of them and so there is no backup of those files. Always try to have at least two copies of your files – and ideally three. And make sure that this third copy is not in the same geographical location as the other two (e.g. on a hard disk that you keep in the office or a copy in the cloud).