Blog / World Backup Day: How to Be on the Safe Side

by Franziska Hackl 2021-03-31

Basically, there are two types of people: Those who back up regularly and those who have never lost data. On the occasion of “World Backup Day”, we want to explain to you why you should think about creating a backup regularly, even if you have been lucky so far.

What does a backup actually do?

In general, a backup is a copy of your data. This can be your smartphone, your laptop, your hard drive, family photos, etc. If your device stops working for any reason, your data is not lost if you have created a backup. Therefore, it is recommended to back up your data at regular intervals to prevent major losses.

How do I create a backup?

It is important that your data is stored in an external location. Many still associate a backup with an external data carrier, such as a hard drive. However, this is inferior to the modern cloud variant in two elementary points.

In general, every device has a certain percentage probability of failure. In the case of a hard drive, for example, this failure probability can be between 1.7% (in the first year) and 8.6% (in the third year), not including possible external circumstances such as fire or water damage. Of course, you can also create a backup on several hard drives, the more you use, the lower the probability of failure.

Another risk factor with external hard drives is the lack of geographic redundancy, in short, location independence. In other words, if your house catches fire, both your computer and the backup on the hard drive are gone. Of course, that’s a rather drastic way of putting it, but that is the basic concept. You can achieve geographical redundancy by storing the data on the servers of cloud providers; it is not uncommon for them to be geographically distributed all over the world.

The problem of the failure probability is minimized by arranging the hard drives in parallel. In short, this means that several functionally identical, redundant copies of the backup exist at the same time, but only one of these needs to function in order to make the backup data available. You can think of this as mirroring data, with each mirroring the risk of data loss decreases.

How do I protect my backup in the cloud?

Generally, your data is protected in the cloud behind an account. However, they are of course still stored on servers and are therefore never 100% secure from unauthorized access. With the help of cloud encryption, you can take the security of your data into your own hands. With Cryptomator, you can create a kind of “magic” vault that can only be accessed by those who have the correct password to open the vault. This way, attackers can theoretically still access the cloud, but cannot do anything with the encrypted data.

You can download Cryptomator free of charge here.