Goodbye 2021!

2021 is coming to a close and as with all endings come a beginning and a beginning is a great time for a fresh start! like for instance a fresh backup!

There are numerous ways to backup, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. In this article we talk about the best ways to backup your data.
if you already have a backup you are already ahead of the game! Good For You! but at the beginning of the year you should check your backup to make sure it’s still functional. Do this by restoring a few files to make sure the backup still works.

After the article see some more tips I shared throughout 2021 and see what’s ahead in technology in 2022!

Thanks for sticking around for another year and I’ll see you again next year!

What is the Best Way to Backup?

“That will never happen to me.” We get through our lives telling ourselves the worst won’t happen to us. But technology isn’t always friendly, So, what’s the best way to backup? Here’s help.

Why You Need to Backup

  1. disruptions of any kind can be costly. The disaster might take one of several shapes:
  2. Natural (e.g. wildfires, floods, earthquakes, or hurricanes)
  3. On-site (e.g. hardware/software failure, power outage, inability to access computer/device)
  4. human error (e.g. damaging mistakes or spilling coffee on the laptop)
  5. Cyber-attack (e.g. data breach, ransomware, or distributed denial of service attack).

Regardless, the best backup solution can help reduce downtime and damage.

Plan B: Approaches to Backup

There are several off-the-shelf backup options you can use. Let’s consider the pros and cons of the most popular ones.

USB Thumb Drives — Also known as “flash drives,” “pen drives,” or “memory sticks,” these thumb-sized devices are compact and portable. But, they have size limitations compared to hard drives. Also, the mobility makes them easy to lose (which can actually set the disaster scenario in motion).

Additionally, a USB thumb drive is robust when not plugged in, but more vulnerable when attached. If someone inadvertently snaps the drive or employs too much force, they can put the data on that backup at risk.

The cheap ones also tend to be slow, which can make backing up sluggish.

USB Hard Drives — Portable hard drives increase the data storage available, often at a decent price. They are designed to be compact and mobile. You can prioritize durability, processing speed, storage volumes and more.

Hard drives are less likely to get damaged than a thumb drive. If knocked or jostled, the cables are flexible. Still, a hard drive can be prone to physical failure. Selecting an external solid state drive (SSD) can help since it has no moving parts. Information is stored instead in microchips.

Cloud Storage — Backing up to the cloud stores data on an external, secure server. If thieves take your computers and USB backup, you can still access your data on the cloud. Cloud storage providers build in redundancy to ensure your backup remains safe.

Most cloud storage services backup to secure centers with thousands of servers storing data. Oh, and they’ll have their own server backups too, just in case they’re the ones hit by a disaster. The providers also encrypt data during transit to further ensure compliance and security.

Migrating to a third-party cloud storage service also cuts the clutter at the amount of devices you need to maintain. You can count on expert help to ensure security.

OK, What’s the Best Answer?

Don’t think disaster won’t strike you. Research has found data loss and downtime are most often caused by:

  • Hardware failures (45% of total unplanned downtime)
  • Loss of power (35%)
  • Software failure (34%)
  • Data corruption (24%)
  • External security breaches (23%)
  • Accidental user error (20%).

We recommend the 3–2–1 backup strategy. This means having 3 copies of your data. Two (2) of these would be located on different devices (e.g. on your computer and on a backup drive). The other remaining backup copy (1) would be secured offsite, in the cloud.

Want to secure your data for the worst? Give us a call at 217-960-4335 to set this up.

Other Tips Shared in 2021:
— If you got a device or other electronics be sure to check the settings and change any default values i.e. like the username is usually just “admin” and also just get familiar with the settings so you know what you are dealing with for your own security.

— as mentioned above check your backup to make sure that it will work in the event of a crash

— As with your backup you should also check your passwords how long has it been since you updated them? passwords are no longer enough you need more I know that sounds like a pain but malicious entities are becoming more and more clever. So along with your password you should have 2FA activated (Two-Factor Authentication) for sites and services that have it available. this makes your accounts hack proof!

— Windows 11 is here! but you don’t have to upgrade Windows 10 is supported through 2025

— Remember to blow out the dust and debris from your computer Dust bunnies kill!

— Lastly, Be aware of what you share, whether it be your personal information or something you share on social media misinformation can be dangerous.

Here’s what to look forward to in 2022 in technology:

— You’ll be hearing a lot about terms like “Metaverse” and “Blockchain” technology and also the continued creation of Web3 (the next version of the internet) these are probably the biggest things to look forward to in the years to come so if you want to get ahead of the game google these terms and get familiar with them.

— AI (Artificial Intelligence) will continue to improve and get better in smart devices like your Alexa and Smart Speakers also known as IoT (Internet of Things)

— Quantum computing which is in its infancy and is doing fascinating things for research, development and exploration will get a bigger boost in the last year alone the support for it has grown exponentially.

— AR and VR space (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) becomes more prevalent which falls in line with the metaverse but also has many different applications on many different levels.

— cryptocurrencies thrive and get woven into everyday life even more so than the past it’s not going away it’s not a fad crypto is the currency of the future. you should prepare yourself for this.

— In the medical field more virtual doctor visits it really brings house calls to a new modern time. healthcare will get more and more virtual and be able to detect illness and more with a simple scan.

— Going into year 3 of covid many are use to a work from home or some sort of remote work protocol even after covid the work from home movement is not going to change Covid changed how people view “Office” life and found it was unnecessary you’ll see more and more big companies just eliminate offices altogether and have a complete remote work force because not only is it a preferred method from employees it also saves the companies a ton of money on the bottom line.

So there you have it a handful of things to look forward in 2022 and the years to come. Exciting times we live in indeed.

As a final note,

— Schedule your Annual Computer Maintenance with the first quarter of the year because just like a car it needs a regular check up too! you wouldn’t run your car 100,000 miles without an oil change would you? don’t run your computer 5 years without a checkup!

— I’m sure you have friends and family that could use a GeeK get them a gift card for computer service at the 2021 rates for a limited time.

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