1 Off-site backup - If the house burns down the USB drive sitting next to the computer is not protecting any files.
2 Different formats - Combine different types of storage - local hard drive, USB drive, cloud storage, CD's or DVD's, etc. Mix any two for best results.
3 Copies of important files - Losing a device means one copy is wiped out. Consider what happens if a backup copy is corrupted?
The Backup Rule of 3 is good advice for anyone with data they cannot afford to lose. The cost of data loss is of course somewhat subjective and unique to the person or business who lost it. Losing pertinent or critical business files translates into monetary costs, while losing family photos that can never be replaced causes an emotional loss that cannot be translated into a tangible amount.
- To ensure all files copied or scheduled to be backed up truly were backed up.
- To make sure newer versions of files replaced older versions when re-using backup media.
- To verify the files are intact, meaning they are not compromised or corrupted in any way.
- To be sure the file permissions remain intact and the files can be opened, modified and saved.
- To practice what the restore process entails before an emergency. Working through the process sets expectations and makes it easier to replicate if data loss occurs.
- Lastly, to find out how long it will take to restore files so you know what to expect in a disaster situation.
As always, preventative maintenance takes time and follow through, but when it comes to protecting your files the rewards far outweigh the effort. Preventing data loss is a much easier process than recovering from a data disaster!