Backups, Backups, Backups! How to Backup Your Data Simply and Successfully

Backups, Backups, Backups! How to Backup Your Data Simply and Successfully

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had data loss! Have you ever a toddler delete all the photos off your phone? Have you ever dropped a laptop off the table and shattered it into a billion pieces? There’s lots of things that can happen to you that cause data loss. What you need is you need a good backup.

Hi I’m Max Clark CEO of and I’m going to talk about backups. 

So there’s two ways of looking at backups: there is what you can do personally, and then what you can do for your business. 

So to start with, let’s talk about personal backups. So the important thing with backups is referenced in the 3-2-1 system of backups. 3 copies of your data, in 2 different locations, and 2 offsite. That’s what 3-2-1 means, and what this really means, what you’re trying to protect against is a couple of things: you’re trying to protect against:

  1. Data Corruption: Something happens to the file and you can’t open it,
  2. File Deletion/Data Deletion: You accidentally delete a file or your toddler gets ahold your computer and deletes half your hard drive,
  3. Damage and Theft: Did you have a fire? Did you have water going off? Did you lose your device? Did somebody break into your house and steal your device?

These all become common scenarios that backups are very important for. So: data corruption, data loss, loss, and theft. How do I have my backup setup? Well I’m a Mac user, which means I have Time Machine. The first thing I do is I have an external hard drive plugged into my computer, and Apple automatically will back up my local files onto this external hard drive. If you have a Mac, all you have to do is go buy an external hard drive, plug in the box, plug in the hard drive, into the computer. Mac OS will ask you: “Do you want to use this thing as a backup?” and you just say yes, and it automatically backs up. Time Machine does two things for you that are really awesome:

  1. The first thing it does for you is it backs up your hard drive. 
  2. A second thing it does for you is it backs up versions of data changes, so you can go back and recover a file. If you realize you made a change in a file and you want a version from 2 weeks ago, you can use time machine to go back in time.

We also use Google Drive and Google and Dropbox, so files don’t just exist on my computer – they also exist replicated and synced up with these services, both Google Drive and with Dropbox (Now there’s different purposes for each, we won’t go into that).  And both Google Drive and Dropbox also do versioning for mem so now I’ve got the file on my hard drive, it’s being backed up into Time Machine that’s versioning, and it’s also in a Dropbox or Drive and that’s also versioning, so if it gets deleted I can recover all these different places… but wait, there’s more!

The last thing that I do is I use a service called Backblaze. Backblaze runs an agent on the computer and that gets backed up to a cloud backup. It’s not designed for you to use as  like a cloud service or synchronization or sharing, it is just a backup service. It’s very inexpensive when I subscribed to it, it’s $50 a year for unlimited backupsm and it just runs in the background and backs the computer up to the cloud.

Why am I so paranoid about this? Because I’ve had data loss!

I have had data loss, it was a long time ago and fortunately it wasn’t a big thing for me, but it happened, and there’s no reason why you should have it ever happen to you again. 

What do you do about it? Well in my case I run Dropbox and Drive and Time Machine and Backblaze… Oh by the way, I forgot! I run iCloud and iCloud backups. So my photos on my phone get backed up to the cloud, they get copied to my computer and that computer gets copied in Time Machine as well as Backblaze! 

I have backups all over the place. Why? I want to be able to lose my box, I want to be able to leave it in an airport, I want to, accidentally, if I deleted something, if my toddler deleted something, I want to get my data back. Because my data is important to me. 

So if you’re trying to figure out how to backup your data and prevent data loss, do it all!  The more you can do, as long as it’s reasonable, the better. The corporate version of this is a little different; it depends on what you’re actually running and how your systems are set up- we will talk about it another time. 

If you need to make sure your business has an efficient and recoverable backup system, give us a call at We’ll talk about what you’re already doing, what applications you’re running, and how we can make sure you never have data loss.