Everyone possesses some form of valuable data that we can’t afford to lose, whether that is information for our business, a college research paper, or our family photos. However, we all face the risk of losing this precious data—either because of an accident or via cyberattack. And while this loss can be easily prevented through a data backup, many have never taken this step to protect their information. This is the main driver behind World Backup Day, which is celebrated each year on March 31st.
Below we outline what World Backup Day is about and provide tips for keeping your data safe and readily available.
A backup is a copy of the data from a digital device that is stored somewhere else and kept safe. Varieties include a full backup (a copy of everything that is considered important), an incremental backup (a copy of files that have been changed since the previous backup), and a differential backup (a copy of files that have been changed since the last full backup). You can lose data if your device is stolen or broken, if there is a hardware failure, if file formats become obsolete, it is accidentally deleted, or from a devastating cyberattack. Depending on the level of data loss, this could simply be an inconvenience, or it could result in unwanted downtime that causes a ripple effect of negative consequences.
You’ve likely heard the adage, “Don’t keep all of your eggs in one basket.” This can be applied to the concept of data backups – by creating copies of your data (or “eggs”), you can avoid losing everything if the device (or “basket”) is compromised. Important devices to backup include computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other wireless devices that contain your data assets
By designating a specific date to recognize the importance of data backups, the organizers behind World Backup Day hope to raise awareness around backups while also encouraging those who have never backed up their data before to make a new habit of doing so. To that end, the details of World Backup Day are as follows:
This year marks the tenth annual World Backup Day. The tradition began in 2011 with the goal of spreading the word about the need to backup digital files. The date of March 31st was chosen because it is the day before April Fool’s Day in which practical jokes run wild.
According to the World Backup Day website, 30% of people have never backed up their data. With 113 phones lost or stolen every minute, and one in ten computers infected with a virus each month, that’s a lot of lost data. This data includes important documents and files, emails, personal information and more. And although 83% of people own a computer and 89% own a mobile phone, only one in four people make regular backups of their data. If something happens to the device you store your data on, either by accident or cyberattack, you can lose everything. Backups keep your data safe.
While 29% of data loss disasters are caused by accident, the growing cyber threat landscape makes data loss by security breach a significant factor, as well. In fact, the most recent Global Threat Landscape Report by FortiGuard Labs showed a sevenfold increase in ransomware activity in the second half of 2020 alone, with the use of data theft as additional leverage in such campaigns entering the scene. Cyber criminals are continuously looking for ways to steal valuable data for their own profit. With this in mind, it is crucial that individuals and organizations alike take steps to back up their data so it is never lost, even in the case of a ransomware attack.
One of the simplest ways to prevent losing your data is by regularly backing up your data, storing it in a separate location, and testing the backups to ensure that they are valid There are several ways to do this. You can connect your phone or computer to removable media such as a USB drive or an external hard drive, or you can backup the data to the cloud through a service. Many of these services allow for automatic backups as changes are made to files, which means the latest version is always kept safe. While it may seem obvious and minor, taking these actions can mean the difference between losing all your data – including critical information – and walking away unscathed.
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