Data Storage: 5 Ways to Secure Your Files

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Gourav Das
Gourav Das is an irreverent copywriter and business writing coach. He's on a mission to stamp out gobbledygook and to make boring business blogs sparkle.

In the first half of 2021 alone, a whopping 1,767 publicly reported data breaches occurred in the US. Such incidents resulted in the exposure of a staggering 18.8 billion records.

Those figures prove how easy it is to lose digital data, or worse, have it destroyed or stolen. That’s why it’s imperative to protect your files with secure data storage practices.

Don’t worry, though, as that’s what we’ll discuss in this guide. So, keep reading to discover the top ways to store your digital data securely.

1. Multiple Backup Creation

In a 2020 survey, 91% of participants said that they backed up their data and devices. Despite that, 68% of them still suffered data loss.

Some of those unfortunate events were due to accidental erasures. Others occurred as a result of hardware and software failure.

That’s why it’s crucial to create not only one but multiple backups of your data. That way, you always have reserves in case one of your other backups fails.

2. Obey the Golden 3-2-1 Rule of Backup Creation

The “3” in the 3-2-1 rule of backup creation refers to creating at least three copies of your data. One of those backups can be in your built-in computer data storage medium, such as the internal hard drive. You can then store the other one in an external hard drive and the third one on the cloud.

On the other hand, the “2” stands for the use of at least two different forms of data storage devices. For example, one could be a physical computer storage device (i.e., a hard drive). Another could then be a cloud storage service.

The “1,” in turn, pertains to the practice of storing at least one backup in an off-site location. For instance, you can deposit one of your data storage devices to a safety vault at a bank. Cloud data storage solutions are other examples of off-site locations.

You may find all those steps tedious, but carrying them out can save you from data loss. That’s because you can lose your data as a result of digital and physical threats. That’s why it’s essential to own several forms of backups and store them in varying locations.

For example, suppose your Mac’s Time Machine hangs on backup preparation or retrieval. If it completely fails, the worst thing that can happen is that some or all of your data becomes corrupted. However, you’ll still be okay if you have another backup on the cloud or on your Mac’s internal storage itself.

Another example is a cyber-attack, which occurs at a rate of one case per 39 seconds. Getting hit by a cyber-attack can result in the destruction or loss of your precious digital data. However, you can mitigate the damages if you have a separate backup.

3. Protect Your Most Sensitive Files With Passwords

It’s also wise to password-protect your most important files as you back them up for data storage. That way, you can add another barrier of security by locking them up with a passkey. Only you who know the code can then open and access the files’ contents.

Fortunately, many data-entry apps provide password-locking features for files. These include Apple Pages and Numbers, Microsoft Office, and Adobe programs. Use these tools so that you can boost the security of the files you put away in storage.

However, when you password-protect your files, make sure to use stronger codes. Do note that hackers can crack eight-character passwords in less than 2.5 hours. They can do that even to complex passphrases.

If you can’t come up with difficult-to-guess passwords, use a password generator instead. Dashlane, LastPass, and NordPass are some examples that you might want to give a try.

4. Encrypt Entire Drives and Folders

Data encryption involves not only passwords but also content concealment.

For instance, suppose you encrypt the drives and folders on your Mac or Windows device. In doing so, the encryption technology scrambles the drives’ and folders’ contents. A passkey, in turn, is necessary to decipher the gibberish-like data.

So, if someone without authority tries to access your encrypted data, it will be useless to them.

In addition, you, the data owner, can specify content access and availability. For instance, you can authorize only specific user accounts. Only these authorized users can then access your encrypted data.

Mac and Windows devices offer encryption for folders and internal and external drives. Use these to your advantage so that you can better secure all your files in storage.

5. Clone Your Primary Drive

A hard drive clone can serve as a backup, too, except that you can also boot straight from it. That’s because when you clone your drive, you create a carbon copy of the operating system, too. That’s why it acts not only as a data storage device for your backups but also as a bootable drive.

So, let’s say you’ve successfully cloned your Mac’s or Window’s primary hard drive. If that fails or gets corrupted, you can plug the cloned drive into your computer. From there, you can boot your device from the clone, and the computer will load the entire drive and the OS itself.

Since it’s a carbon copy, all the files and drives you copied to the clone will also be present upon boot. All those benefits make a hard drive clone a must-have OS and data storage medium.

Keep Essential Files Safe With These Data Storage Practices

Always remember that all data storage media are at risk of destruction, failure, or theft. That’s why you need to up your security ante to keep your precious files safe and secure.

So, as early as now, follow all the tips we’ve outlined in this guide. The sooner you do, the sooner you can back up your files and protect them from irreversible loss.

Would you like to gain even more insights on safe and secure technology practices? If so, then feel free to check out up-to-date news and blog posts!

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