As you probably already know, data recovery services for all types of digital storage devices are provided by Hard Drive Recovery Group, an industry leader in hard drive recovery. Because of our full-service laboratories, we are able to restore data in the majority of situations quickly and affordably, and we provide a no data, no charge guarantee to provide our clients with peace of mind. It’s a business that has made us tons of friends over the years, and it’s always a pleasure to help – especially when the situation looks hopeless at first.

But data recovery should almost always be a last resort: if you have an effective backup strategy in place, you may never have to use our services at all. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common data backup mistakes and offer some advice on how to create the best, most cost effective backup strategy.

1. Start Backing Up Your Data Today! Immediately!

The options available to consumers for creating consistent and follow-able backup programs are excellent today — but if you are not backing up your data at all, you are not alone. According to a survey conducted in 2018, 24 percent of adult computer owners in the United States do not regularly back up their computer’s most critical files. In the survey, only 6 percent of respondents stated that they back up their data on a daily basis, and only 11 percent stated that they back up their data weekly. In our opinion, a weekly data backup should suffice if you want to save data recovery costs over the long term.

2. General Backup Has Worked, But Not For All Devices

If you’re backing up data from your personal computer, are you also backing up data from your laptop? What about your mobile devices, such as your smart phone (most Android and iOS phones will come with automatic backup systems – figure out how to use yours, and go for it!) How about your office computer?

If you want to be quite safe from data loss, every system that stores sensitive information should have two or more backups. Consider the worst-case hard drive failure scenario, and then make the necessary preparations. Keep in mind that any device has the potential to (inevitably) fail.

3. You’ve Got The Single Backup Blues

A smart and effective backup strategy must include redundancy as a critical component. As in, use a second external drive or device as well. Eventually, every storage device will fail — yes, this includes flash memory and solid-state drives — and certain failure scenarios (such as electrical storms, flooding or ransomware attacks) may cause multiple devices to fail at the same time.

If you want to be very serious about mission critical data, which you probably should be, we recommend that you keep at least three backup copies, with at least one of those copies being stored offsite. If you invest in both a backup hard drive and a cloud backup service, you’ll have a better backup strategy than 95 percent of computer users in no time.

4. Inconsistency Reigns With Your Backups

Is it possible for you to get back on track right away if your computer crashes right now? It’s possible that your backup will provide you with essential copies of important files, but it’s unlikely that it will provide you with an up-to-date copy of every file on your computer. This is a problem that one of our clients recently encountered. Because she’s a photographer, every week she backs up her work; however, she takes and stores new photos every day of the week. A problem with her laptop occurred near the end of a backup schedule, and the work she had completed during that time period was worth thousands of dollars.

The good news is that our engineers were able to recover her data (and dozens of beautiful, irreplaceable photos). The moral of the story is that it may take some time to rebuild your work. If a mass hard drive crash happens, and you could easily lose several days or weeks of work as a result, you should think about increasing the frequency with which you back up.

5. Inconsistent Backup Checks

Checking your backups is important because they do fail. This is not common, sure, but neither is your original hard drive failure. With some clients, because they never tested their backups, they didn’t realize that their backups contained corrupt or unusable files. This can make some backups all but unusable. Believe us, this scenario plays out far more often than you would think.

Using a cloud-based backup service can make this “corrupted backup files situation” even more problematic. When files become unreadable, it is possible that the errors contained within those files will be replicated to the cloud copy. It goes without saying that this reduces the usefulness of the cloud backup as well.

Look for an online backup service that allows you to restore data from a variety of different times. In order to ensure that your data is always available when you need it, consider using a secondary backup device that you can move around with (such as an external hard drive or solid-state drive). Make it a habit to regularly check your backups for important files — open them and verify that they function as expected. If you’re backing up files for a company, you should conduct periodic disaster recovery drills to ensure that you have a solid plan in place in the event of a catastrophe.