Backups. They are almost required in this day and age if you have important, irreplaceable data or even just your normal, everyday data. Take this hypothetical scenario if, say, your data was on sheets of paper in real life; if the safe in the back room of your house is where you want your data to be, then most of your data is on the front porch, or, if you have a decent firewall (Windows Firewall does not count as decent), it might be on the floor in your entryway. Maybe, if you encrypt it, it will be on the desk in your room or under your pillow, but nothing will be in that safe. If your house gets robbed, if your house burns down, if your house gets toppled like a one-pole tent in an earthquake, or even if your house gets bombed, chances are you’ve lost that paper.

And how do you get stuff into that safe? Backups. Everything can fail these days. Your hard drive is the most likely, but your whole computer could fail, and if you’re running a company with servers, your main server could fail. Say your college thesis was three words from being finished, and your hard drive fails. If you did not have a backup, then you might as well have handwritten the whole thesis and then tossed it in a campfire before handing it in.

We often do not make backups – it takes time, its a boring, repetitive task, and it feels like meteor strike insurance – never needed and totally useless. In fact, however, it’s more like health insurance. It doesn’t seem needed, but there comes a day when you’re quite glad you got it. However, backups are still time-consuming. There are automatic backup systems available, but they cost an arm and a leg and them some. However, excellent and fairly wallet-friendly backup methods do exist.

Finally, you instead of buying a safe, you could buy alarms, cameras, tripwires and maybe even motion detectors and laser tripwires to catch any robbers stupid and unlucky enough to choose your house as his (or her) next target. Just like this, you could install security systems on your computers and servers. In this way, you can protect yourself against any malware; viruses, trojan horses, spyware and keyloggers will not be a threat to the wellbeing of your data. Then again, there have been many cases of these things getting past security, so this method is not perfect. That’s not all – just like how you have to step over or deactivate your tripwires when you want to go somewhere, security systems in your computer can be an inconvenience. Norton Antivirus™ , for instance, is infamous for slowing down your computer, and other programs block things that you don’t want blocked. And on top of all these problems, security won’t protect you against a hard drive failure