A Desktop Publishing Guide to Backing Up Computer Data

Protecting your computer’s data files is something every self-publishing publisher needs to know and address before it’s too late. It is not a complicated or expensive process. It can be as simple as having an external hard drive and using cloud storage. No special knowledge or sophisticated equipment is required. And the process is very easy to automate. It is essential that the backup process is simple and automatic. Creating multiple copies, on-site and off-site, is also essential. Here is a summary of how we do this in our office.

Using an external drive for data backup

We started by using an external hard drive in our office. This is the simplest and most basic way to protect your data on your internal hard drive. A 3TB branded hard drive now costs $ 120. Make sure you buy a larger hard drive than you currently need. But don’t buy too much. Right now this 3TB has a good price. As time goes on, larger hard drives will also come down in price. Another reason not to overshop is that hard drives don’t last forever. Buy only what you need now and then upgrade to a newer, larger unit when you need it. We bought an external USB hard drive that is only 5 inches x 7 inches x 1.5 inches. This small size gives you an easy way to store the hard drive in your safe or safe, or take it with you on your work vacation.

Using multiple external drives for data backup

Now we use several external hard drives. They install together and function as a unit within a storage matrix box. In this way, we can store a large amount of data on multiple drives that are stored in a small desktop box. Even if one or two drives fail, we will still have several more running. Again, just buy a reputable storage matrix box and a reputable external hard drive to put in it.

Using cloud storage for data backup

Storing your data online is called “cloud storage”. You should consider using cloud storage because it is a safe and easy way to store your files outside of your office, where they cannot be stolen from your office, lost, or burned in a fire. There are many cloud storage companies and they are all easy to find on the internet. Many offer 2GB or 5GB of free storage. There are also many reviews and comparisons of the different services on the Internet. Some companies will even automatically back up their data to an external hard drive and at the same time to the cloud as well. Play it safe and choose one of the reputed cloud storage companies to deal with your business.

How do I find a cloud storage company?

There are many cloud storage companies and they are all easy to find on the internet. There are many reviews and comparisons of the different services on the Internet. Some will even automatically backup your data to external hard drive and cloud too. Play it safe and choose one of the reputable companies to deal with.

Isn’t it risky to back up to the cloud?

Your data will be stored in an encrypted format when it is backed up to the cloud at the storage company, which should prevent a hacker from easily accessing your information. If you need a higher level of security, you can use your own private encryption key to further reduce potential exposure to data intrusion. The chance of a server like Apple, Amazon, or Google crashing is far less than the chance of your own hard drive or local backup failing.

Work away from home or office

If you are away from your home / business computer and use your laptop, please email the document you are working on. Also save it to your laptop’s internal hard drive and your flash drive. A good rule of thumb is that you should never keep extremely confidential data on your laptop. Save it to your flash drive and to the cloud. We keep several flash drives with us when we are on vacation, and we keep them in our pockets for storage. Flash drives are very inexpensive, so buy and use several. We bought 3 branded 8GB flash dives for less than $ 20.

Should I encrypt my hard drives?

For most purposes, you don’t need encryption of your computer or hard drive. Encryption is only necessary for extremely sensitive data, such as your patients’ medical records. Encrypting a backup adds unnecessary complexity to a process that is designed to simplify and preserve quick access to your information. With this added complexity comes the greater likelihood of a problem arising. Thus, it increases the chance that you will lose access to your backed up data. Do yourself a favor and make sure you understand when and why you may need to encrypt your backups and think about how you will ensure that you will have access to your encryption password when necessary. Data encryption will cost you too much time, money, and hassle.

What computer data should I back up?

At a minimum, you should back up everything except software applications. Any data that is necessary for the operation of your business should be copied. Most of the software is easy to replace and generally not too expensive.

What about our websites, blogs, mailing lists, and online publications?

All of these are absolutely essential to keep your desktop publishing business running and thriving. Fortunately, each of them already has a built-in backup. We keep multiple backups on various hard drives here in our office and also in the cloud. All of our websites and blogs are also endorsed by the hosting company. Our hosting company also sends us a backup by email. Our mailing lists are kept by an online mailing list company. The list can be easily downloaded from the mailing list company. We also keep a copy on our computers and hard drives. All of our online publications (e-books and electronic documents) also have full copies with the companies that sell our publications.


By having a simple backup plan that uses both online data backup and multiple external hard drives, you are providing foolproof security for when your computer’s hard drive fails or your system is ruined in a fire or a flood. Don’t risk losing your important files forever when you can avoid that mess quickly and inexpensively with a tripled data backup plan. And never forget: don’t put all your reliance on one method over the other. Internal hard drives, external hard drives, and flash drives can fail. Even your cloud storage company can fail – shut down, get hacked, or your computer software can fail.

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