Data loss can happen to anyone. That is why it is crucial to have a reliable backup method to restore your files when something bad happen to your device.

Whether you are using a smartphone or computer, you surely have files in your device that are too important to lose. But how do you keep them safe? There are many factors that can lead to permanent data loss. Like natural disasters, thieves, damage to the device, and cyber-attacks to mention a few. It’s important to backup your files before any of these unpredictable incidents happen to avoid bad consequences.

Data loss can be very stressful especially if you lost important documents, business records, or precious photos from memorable events. To help you prevent the negative impacts of data loss, here are some tips to securely backup your files.

There are different ways to backup data. You can use USB flash drives, external hard drives, Network Attached Storage (NAS), and the cloud.

1. USB flash drives – also known as USB sticks or pen drives, are the oldest method of backing up files among the four that are mentioned above. They are easy to use, very portable, and can be connected to any device that has a USB port. These thumb size devices have wide selection of storage capacity, ranging from 1GB to 2TB. Allowing you to choose which suits your needs best.

The downside of USB flash drives is their capacity. Although many people find them convenient because of their small size that are easy to fit and hide anywhere, it’s also making the devices easy to lose. Moreover, they are more susceptible to device failure than other storage devices.

2. External hard drives – These are like USB flash drives but slightly bigger in terms of size and storage capacity. They are 5 to 10 times bigger than pen drives with storage capacity ranging from 1TB to 18TB. They are also portable, easy to use, and compatible to laptops and desktops. External hard drives copy data faster and are more durable than flash drives. There are two types of external drives you can choose from, HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and SSD (Solid State Drive). SSDs are less likely to get damage than their HDD counterparts, but HDDs are cheaper and have greater storage volumes.

Although external hard drives are more durable than USB flash drives, they can still get damaged and stop working. Especially when dropped on a hard surface or get wet.

3. Network Attached Storage (NAS) – These devices allow automatic backup of multiple computers which makes them great for businesses. They have a high storage capacity as they can accommodate 4 hard drives or even more. NAS allows multiple users and can be access remotely through an internet connection.

NAS devices are more reliable than flash drives and hard drives when it comes to backup files. They are also more durable. However, they require some knowledge about computer networks to use them efficiently. Moreover, in case of natural catastrophes or human error (i.e., accidentally reformatting the system), data loss is still possible with NAS.

4. Cloud Storage – Like NAS, this method allows automatic backup and can be access through the internet. This is great even for smartphones. Allowing smartphone users to easily upload and share backup files without using a computer or a browser. Provided that they have a cloud storage app installed in their device. Storing important files in a cloud keep them safe from device failure and natural disasters as the data is not stored in a physical device. Moreover, most popular cloud storage solutions such as: iCloud, Dropbox, and Google drive have a “recover file” Which allows users to restore files that were accidentally deleted. 

Cloud storages are flexible as you can select a storage capacity that fit your needs. They also allow upgrade in case you need more space. In addition, most cloud storages offer 5GB of free storage so you don’t have to spend money if you don’t have many files to backup.

Like other backup methods, cloud storage also has drawbacks. If your files are beyond their free storage capacity, they require a monthly or annual fee. Cloud storage can also be attack by cyber-criminals which may delete or overwrite files. Although cloud storage providers have strict security, it is still uncertain of whether our data is fully protected. Since cyber attackers continue to make way to get through computer systems including cloud servers.

As of now, there is no single way of data backup that is completely infallible. USB drives, hard drives, and NAS can get damaged or lost. Cloud storages can be attacked by cyber criminals. And there will always be human error that can result to unintentional deletion or overwriting of files. Hence, the best way to secure your important data is to have more than one backup copy. Better to make it three, or even more if you can.  

Store your backup files in different places. For instance, one in a flash drive, one in an external drive, then another one on your most trusted cloud storage. You can also save them on two different clouds, then one on a hard drive. This way you’ll have extra copies in case there’s a calamity in your place or your computer is attacked by a virus.

Author's Bio: 

Isabella Whitmore likes to share tips about household, technology, health, and family. She works at, an appliance website that offers a wide selection of electric kettles.