How to Backup Files and Protect Data on Your PC or Mac

protectRegularly backing up your computer is always a good idea. Most of us store a lot of important files on our computers – many of which aren’t replaceable or at the very least are difficult to replace. Thankfully both PC and Mac computers come with a built-in feature to back up your important files safely.

Windows Users
First things first, you will need a backup drive to save your files on. You can use any external hard drive, USB flash drive etc. These are readily available at office supply stores and even big box retailers like Walmart and Best Buy. You could also try a spyware like Highster Mobile that saves data.  Make sure that your backup drive has more than enough space for all of your files. Opt for something that has twice the amount of space you think you’ll need so you have space for a couple of backups.

When you plug in your external drive, Windows should ask you if you’d like to use this device as a backup. When prompted, select the corresponding answer to move forward. If you don’t receive this prompt, simply search the start menu for backup and navigate to Backup and Restore.

Your next step is to Set Up Backup. Select the drive you wish to use and select Next. Unless you are an expert, use the recommended Windows settings by clicking next on the following prompt.

Now you should be on the last screen. From here, select Save Settings and Run Backup. Do not turn off your computer during this time. Let the backup run it’s course and remove your drive when completed. If you would like regular backups to occur automatically, leave this drive attached to your computer and backups will be performed according to your settings and preferences.

Mac Users
Much like Windows users, you will need to purchase a backup drive. Make sure you purchase a drive that has plenty of space for multiple backup files. Again like Windows, your Mac will ask if you would like to use your drive as a back up with you plug it in. Select Use as a Backup Disk to move forward. If, for whatever reason, you don’t receive this prompt, you can navigate to system preferences, and select time machine. In time machine’s preferences, find Select Backup Disk and choose your preferred drive. From here, your Mac will backup in the background.

There are other ways to backup your device wirelessly if you prefer a cloud-based form of assurance. Check out some of these providers online. Many are a subscription based service which charge fees based on the amount of data you store. A few to look into are:

• Carbonite – This service offers solutions for individual users and small business owners. Plans start at $80 per year.
• ZipCloud is a free service that stores your backup data securely. You even have the option of backing up your mobile device data too.
Highster Mobile – This service is a one-time payment that allows you unlimited access to text messages, call logs, social media, email, browser information, etc.

Which ever way you choose to back up your data, having a strategy in place is an excellent idea to help protect yourself from file loss if your computer ever crashes or burns out.