How to Keep Files and Documents Safe and Have Peace of Mind
February 3, 2017
Advances in technology have produced amazing ways to access, create and store large numbers of documents, numbers that, in the past, would have required large libraries for proper containment. However, easy access and digital file capabilities can make some people overlook how easily such information can be lost. A hard drive crash, a file that is accidentally deleted or a stolen laptop can render precious photos or documents forever out of reach. These are perfect examples of why it is critical to back up all of your important data using external storage, such as thumb drives or portable hard drives, for safekeeping.
Find Your Data Device Match
Consider some of your options in the external storage device field:
• USB flash drives are small and easy to carry around and store away, but they also store data at a relatively slower speed.
• External hard drives are larger and more like mini computers, and they store large amounts of data.
• If your computer has a CD-ROM drive, then CD-RW rewritable discs offer a cheap way to store smaller amounts of data.
Different types of external storage devices also store data at different speeds. A solid-state drive, or SSD, for example, is similar in some respects to a USB flash drive. But it stores data at a much faster rate, according to PCWorld. Unless you are constantly storing files all day, the speed of the device may not matter as much as the cost and storage capacity.
One Size Does Not Fit All
External drives come in a variety of sizes, and each kind holds different amounts of data. You first need to assess how much data you are backing up. For those saving small documents, and who are running on limited budgets, small USB flash drives are a good option. Because they hold much less data, many USB flash drives advertise their storage capacities in gigabytes (GB) rather than the much larger terabytes (TB). “If you are merely storing documents and spreadsheets, 250GB to 320GB should be enough storage space,” says Lisa Johnston, peripherals expert for About.com. USB flash drives are also more durable than external hard drives; you have less to worry about if a USB drive is dropped on the floor, writes PCWorld. Although external hard drives are more breakable, they are better for storing large amounts of data, such as video or music libraries. They often carry 1 to 3 TB, and thus are able to hold huge amounts of data.
Additional Protection Strategies
As an additional measure of protection, you may want to consider placing your most important documents on more than one external drive. For example, you might consider buying a few inexpensive USB flash drives to keep an especially important file safe by copying it onto at least two devices. This allows you to have multiple copies of your important documents in case one of the external hard drives or USB flash drives goes missing. Up the security of your external storage devices even more by keeping them in different places for safekeeping. And also consider purchasing a fire safe to help keep your devices safe from burglary, fire and water damage.
With these extra external devices, you can keep especially sensitive information off your computer and solely on your external devices. This keeps your documents safe if your laptop is stolen or hacked, and it provides the additional benefit of freeing up more space on your computer.
Your data may be at risk, and you can lose precious photos and files in the blink of an eye. If these files are extremely sensitive, you even risk having your secret information and identity stolen from you. In a world of identity thieves and hackers, you can never be too safe in protecting your data, and the further you go to secure your data, the greater peace of mind you can enjoy.
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