A good strategy (and several mistakes to avoid) when making a backup
When was the last time you backed up your computer? And to your phone? He remembers? Do you know if you did it correctly? If your answer is no, you are not alone. According a survey carried out by the IT security company ESET Latin America Among a thousand users from different countries in the region, 63% of those surveyed did not know how to make a correct backup of their information, if they ever do. A security copy (backupcan save your life, digitally speaking. However, not just any copy works. To properly safeguard your information, it will take more than the push of a button.
“Backups are a key point for everyone, both professionally and personally. We must give ourselves the degree of importance of our information and reflect: would I mind not having this file, video or photo in the future? ”Reflects Ángela G. Valdés, INCIBE’s Cybersecurity Technician for Citizens. In the aforementioned survey, although 45% indicate that they do make copies often, and 26% do so frequently, 55% acknowledged having lost information at some time due to not having an adequate backup.
The most common mistake is to make a backup copy on the same device or computer where the original information is. 29% of respondents store their backups on the same computer. It’s like keeping spare car keys … inside the car. “This poses a great risk to the information to be backed up, since, if the files are not hosted on an external medium, in case of theft, loss or the equipment stops working, the backup copies will be lost along with the originals and the effort will have been of no use ”, they explain from ESET.
Where to keep it then? The most recommended is through a cloud system with the possibility of access from various devices. 61% of users use this system. There are also physical alternatives for storing copies – such as an external hard drive or USB memory – but these devices can always be lost or broken. Loss of information due to an error in hardware it constitutes 46%, even more than malicious programs (41%).
Another mistake is not classifying the information. Whether it’s due to ignorance, poor planning or laziness, but having a disorganized backup is almost as problematic as not having it. “For example, in our roll of photos we surely have some very important for us with our family and friends, and others that are not relevant, such as screenshots or memes that we have received on WhatsApp chains. If we do not filter the information towards the backup copies, we will be spending resources unnecessarily ”, explains Valdés.
And a good backup should be done on a regular basis. Especially if in our files there are documents that usually receive changes regularly, such as a thesis, a project or some design. The ESET survey reveals that 51% say they backup “occasionally” and only 18% say they backup “frequently.”
The 3-2-1 rule and other tips
One of the best ways for the user to ensure that they are saving what they need, in the safest way and at the right frequency, is the 3-2-1 rule. “It consists of having three copies, on two different types of media [por ejemplo dos en sendos ordenadores y otra en la nube] and store one of them in a physical place other than our home or workplace. In this way, we ensure that we have a backup copy of our information in the event of unwanted unforeseen events, ”explains Valdés. The expert acknowledges that carrying out this rule is an effort, but that it is worth it if we evaluate “the cost of the measure against the cost of risk and establish ranges of importance of our information.”
But you do not have to support everything, only what can be lost and although this premise seems obvious, in practice it is not so common. An efficient backup is one that contains unique information, such as that which we cannot easily find on the internet or academic papers and audiovisual files that, once deleted, could not be recovered. According to the ESET survey, 80% keep copies of multimedia content files and work documents, while 42% make backup copies of the passwords they use.
In addition, experts also recommend not reusing the password assigned to the backup for another service, and implement the double authentication factor as well as carefully configure the established permissions. “Keep in mind that the security of many of these services relies on the security of the email accounts. Also, keep in mind that access to the same account may be available from more than one device, such as one or more computers, as well as through the application on mobile phones, so that security and privacy measures must also contemplate the different devices ”, advise ESET.