It's important to have a backup of your files. Leaving everything in one place could be a disaster. Let's look at some ways to back up your data.
1. External Drive
Unlike an internal drive, which is safely installed inside your computer, an external drive can be plugged into a computer via USB or USB-C.
There are two types of external drives you can buy: HDDs (hard disk drives) or SSDs (solid-state drives). SSDs are much faster and more portable than HDDs, but more expensive.
When picking a drive, make sure the file format works with your computer - Mac and Windows use different formats.
Dedicate that drive specifically for backup use, try not to incorporate regular files on it if you can.
2. Cloud Storage
Internal and external drives can fail, so having storage that can be accessed with a web browser is a great option to have.
A cloud storage service will offer a certain amount of space on its servers for a monthly fee. Most providers encrypt your data while it's being transferred.
Common cloud providers include Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox. Keep in mind, when you put your files on these platforms, they encrypt your files, but they also own the encryption keys. That means they can see your files.
Also, if the higher-ups requested your files, these platforms are legally bound to give them out.
Some more private alternatives include Sync, Mega, and pCloud.
3. Network Attached Storage
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a dedicated server that provides storage for a home or business.
It's like an external drive with its own wireless network. But unlike an external drive, a NAS is designed to always be on and connected.
The beauty of a NAS device is that it can be easily accessed by multiple people, multiple computers, mobile devices, or even remotely.
If your computer crashes your data will still be safe on the NAS. Unlike cloud storage, there are no third parties handling your data and keeping logs of network activity.
It's not a bad idea to have multiple copies of your data in different places. Pair an external drive with cloud storage. Or use a NAS with your external to avoid third parties altogether.
When dealing with NAS and cloud storage, make sure it's password protected. Keep your external drives in a secure place when using them.
And make sure your computer is using a strong antivirus program, especially when sharing files back and forth.