World Backup Day is Upon Us…Are You Ready?

Most of us know by now that every day on the calendar is some sort of a holiday. And we also know that most holidays have a commerce-generating component; think about how many Moms will get flowers on May 14. Hallmark also looks forward to revenue in the days before mid-May.

Regardless, once in a while a holiday comes along that bears more than passing attention. I suggest that the last day in March is just such an occasion: World Backup Day.

March 31 is not a day for us all to drive in reverse. Rather, it is a reminder for us to think about how to preserve the growing mountain of data we generate. It has been estimated that consumers have taken 1.1 trillion photos worldwide in 2016, and this number will grow to 1.2 trillion photos in 2017! Corporations already employ an army of folks to preserve, protect and back up data. The learning from that global corporate ecosystem is trickling into the consumer sector, but probably not quickly enough. Many of us may shrug and figure that we don’t have the infrastructure / patience / need to backup our data, but one frozen hard drive or lost device will quickly get you religion.

The organizers of World Backup Day estimate that thirty percent of us have never backed up our data. Here are a few quick steps to get you thinking about backing up your data.

With any luck, you won’t make this an annual event.

Tip 1: Be Prepared

You spill, you drop, you forget. Phones break and devices are stolen. Though you may not always think about it, it’s important in your digital life as much as in your physical life to keep an eye out for potential vulnerabilities. That’s why you should create a plan to regularly back up not only data stored on your computer and phone, but also from your social media networks.

 Tip 2: Be Organized

World Backup Day is a great time to do some digital spring cleaning and get rid of any content that you no longer need. While you’re at it, make sure to organize your remaining files into folders with names and categories you can easily search for and remember. Once you’ve done that, get a head start on maintaining your cleaned up and well organized content by scheduling recurring backups, keeping your data secure all year round.

 Tip 3: Be Entertained

Are you a movie fanatic or music lover that wants to enjoy your content wherever you are? Or maybe you’re planning a fun trip this summer? Try storing your on-the-go entertainment on a portable drive so they go where you go.

There are a variety of ways to back up your data. Some prefer cloud-based solutions, of which there are many. In this installment, we will focus on external hard drives as a backup solution. No wi-fi needed for the latter mode of backup.

 Tip 1: Think Capacity

Take stock of your data. Do you have mostly text files and a handful of photos or do you have thousands of photos and dozens of videos, too? Knowing if you have a lot or a little data to backup will help you choose the right drive for the job. Think big if you have tons of multimedia content. For example, a drive like the Seagate Backup Plus Hub with up to 8TB of capacity could be a good fit for a home movie fan. If you’ve got a smaller amount to store, a mobile drive with 1-2TB of storage would likely be sufficient.

 Tip 2: Pair Fashion and Function

Are you colorful, trendy, minimalist or techy? If you’re prone to losing things, go for a colorful drive like the Backup Plus Portable, which comes in bright and easy-to-find colors like blue or red and can pack up to 5TB of data. If you’re a minimalist, evade excess by going sleek with the Seagate Backup Plus Ultra Slim – Seagate’s thinnest portable drive. There are options out there for everyone, so be strategic about what you think will work best for you and your storage needs. Western Digital is another purveyor of external hard drives; the company offers a variety of choices. The Toshiba Canvio Premium 3 is a beautifully designed USB 3.0 drive with a USB Type-C converter, which is especially useful for those with newer Macs that have abandoned the old Type-A connectors.

 Tip 3: Ensure Easy Access

Our lives grow busier by the day. Whether you’re a student shuffling from class to class, a 9-5 professional or simply always on-the-go, make sure you have a mobile device you can take with you no matter where you are. And think about what kind of access is right for you – for instance, you can keep your homework accessible on a Seagate portable drive, but store your old photos on the cloud or another backup drive to make room for the stuff you really need every day.


Brad Auerbach has been a journalist and editor covering the media, entertainment, travel and technology scene for many years. He has written for Forbes, Time Out London, SPIN, Village Voice, LA Weekly and early in his career won a New York State College Journalism Award.