How I backup my files

The importance of backing up my files has been on my mind ever since I lost some GCSE ICT coursework. I lost the data with a handful of days left before the deadline. Not a good situation 😔.

I had the file on one USB stick, which managed to corrupt itself. It was a classic case of Murphy's law - if it can happen, it will happen. I had been tempting fate by working from that one memory stick for far too long.

After I worked furiously to recreate my coursework, I spent a few hours setting up a proper personal file backup system. From that point onwards, I have had this system in place:

  1. On my local drive - the original copy of the data is stored on my laptop
  2. On the cloud - I keep all of my documents in a cloud service, like Dropbox or Google Drive
  3. On a remote server - I use BackBlaze to continuously sync encrypted copies of my files to their servers. I haven't had to use this yet, but the $90 annual fee offers the peace of mind of having a global off-site backup of my files.
  4. On an encrypted local external hard disk, which is only synced periodically This provides protection against ransomware as the backup is offline for 99% of the time. I user SuperDuper! for a bootable clone of my laptop drive, but you could swap this out for a Time Machine backup.

The first three steps are set-and-forget actions. The cloud services and BackBlaze back continuously without any effort on my part. I've set a recurring task in my to-do list app to remind me to connect and backup to my external drive every few weeks.

It's simple and for the most part free of effort. Thankfully I haven't lost any files since this system was implemented 🥳.

What do you do to backup your files? Is there anything you would tweak to this approach? One day I am sure I will end up buying a Synology NAS to supplement this 🤓.