An excerpt from Brian Gongol's list of steps toward good technology hygiene. Here are some things you should do to backup your devices, smartphones, computers, and tablets:

  • Double backups. Have backups of anything important saved in two locations.
  • Physical isolation. A portable hard drive that automatically backs up your computer is great, but not if it gets fried by the same lightning strike that burns up your computer because the two were connected via USB.
  • Store a backup well offsite.
  • Cloud backups are an option, but they come with risks. They're a big temptation for hackers, and the services may not be available forever. Sometimes tech companies go out of business with little or no warning.
  • Keep a physical backup of really important stuff on non-volatile storage like a DVD. Remember: Flash memory can fail catastrophically and optical discs can be scratched. There's no perfect solution, so multiple layers of backups are best.
  • Understand that bit rot and physical degradation can erode primary storage as well as backups. That's why you need multiple layers of protection.
  • Backup your phone pictures and videos, too. The smartphone and cameraphone make it possible to take pictures and videos everywhere, but they're also at the highest risk of getting broken or lost. Backup your portable devices frequently so you don't lose the good stuff.