World Backup Day 2015

Let's be honest, backing up our files is a chore we'd rather not think about, let alone actually get round to doing. If that's you, here's some motivation: March 31st 2015 is World Backup Day.

The idea behind it is to make everyone aware of the importance of backing stuff up, but especially those who've never made a backup in their life.

Anyone who's ever lost digital photos will already have a backup strategy. Learning the hard way by losing a phone or laptop - or having a hard drive fail - is painful, but it means having no backup is a mistake you never make twice.

Verbatim commissioned a survey to coincide with this year's World Backup Day and the results (below) make for some shocking reading. Almost a third of respondents admitted they had never made a backup, yet two thirds were most worried about losing photos and videos.

These days there are lots of ways to backup all the stuff you can't stand to lose, no matter whether it's stored on your PC, phone, tablet or laptop. Unfortunately, there's still no magic button which makes an instant backup of all your devices, but it's certainly a lot easier than it used to be.

If you take most of your photos and videos on your smartphone, backing up really is easy. Just sign up to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, or use the online storage that comes with your phone. If you have Android, you can automatically backup your camera roll to Google+. Windows Phone users get automatic backups to OneDrive, while iPhone owners can create a free iCloud account.

Windows users can also use OneDrive, but it pays to understand that cloud services which synchronise files with a folder on your hard drive aren't true backups. The reason is that if you delete a file in your OneDrive folder on your laptop, that file will also be deleted in your online OneDrive account.

This is why it's best to choose a cloud storage service that allows you to undelete files you've deleted accidentally, and why it pays to have multiple backups. External hard drives are cheap, and it's not too difficult to copy new photos and videos to it every month or two. Then, at worst, you'll lose a few weeks' worth rather than a lot more.

So, tomorrow, before you become a fool on April 1st, make sure you backup any files that you wouldn't like to lose. And also read our Ultimate guide to backup

World Backup Day 2015

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