Do you really need to backup your data?


Dave’s Computer Repair Blog – Do you really need to backup your data?

I was asked this question last week and it got me thinking. A client came into the store and asked about data recovery and how effective it was. We discussed hard drive reliability, MTBF (mean time before failure) and a range of other subjects and then he asked, ‘if hard drives are so reliable, why do I need to backup my data?’

While on the surface that seems a simple question, it is actually not so simple to answer. Yes, hard drives are reliable. Yes they last longer than ever now. If you use a UPS or other power filtering system they can literally last decades. So why bother backing them up?

If you want the short version, it is – how important is your data? How would it feel if you lost all your photos, emails, copies of letters or company accounts? How would you react if I told you our data recovery failed and it was all gone forever? If you think you would experience any negative emotion, you need to backup your data.

There are four main threats facing your data.

  1. Hardware failure
  2. Deliberate tampering
  3. Malware and viruses
  4. Accidental deletion

Hardware failure

While hard drives are reliable, they will fail. Hardware of any kind fails. It is inevitable. Whether it is down to excess heat, becoming worn out, manufacturing faults or something else, all man-made objects fail at some point.

Deliberate tampering

You cannot ignore the human element in computing as it is usually the weakest link. A hacker or disgruntled employee could delete your critical records in seconds. Then what?

Malware and viruses

Instances of malware and viruses are increasing all the time. If you have adequate defenses you can protect yourself from the majority of risks, but can you guarantee that nothing will ever get through?

Accidental deletion

That other human element that is the bane of computer owners everywhere. The accidental deletion. If you notice you can quickly recover it yourself. If you don’t notice until much later it might be impossible to recover your data.

Backup your data

With cloud storage being offered for free with most email accounts and USB or external hard drives very cheap, there really is no excuse. You can automate backups for a little extra safety and it only takes a few minutes to set up. So why would you not backup your data? It is certainly faster and cheaper than bring it to Hillsborough for us to fix!


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