Losing data can be a terrible situation. That’s why you should always back up your hard drive. However, the one mistake most people make is that they keep their back-up drives connected to their PC, even when they are not sending data.
This is a risk you shouldn’t take, as keeping your back-up connected to your computer can be compromised in the event of an attack. Why over here
Why should you unplug your external storage?
The primary reason to back up your files is that if you lose the hard drive where it’s stored, you still have a copy of it on another storage medium. So if your computer’s SSD or HDD fails and you lose all the data stored on it, you can still restore the data from another source when you replace the broken part.
However, restoring from a backup you did three months ago will still mean losing a substantial amount of recent data. That’s why some people simply don’t remove their backup drives and conduct frequent automatic backups.
While this is more convenient, the rise of ransomware means you are equally putting your backups at risk. This is because ransomware attacks encrypt all the drives connected to your PC. So, if your back-up storage is connected when your computer is attacked, there is a high chance that it will affect your back-up drive as well.
In addition to ransomware, other malware can also affect attached drives, thus making your backed-up drive a carrier. Even if you have removed the infection from your computer, you run the risk of re-infecting it if your external storage was infected in the first attack.
how to protect your data
The best way to keep your backed-up files safe is to keep your external storage medium unplugged when you’re not using it.
That way, even if your computer is attacked by ransomware or other types of malware, it won’t affect your backups. Once you remove the infection, you only need to restore your files from the back-up.
Alternatively, you can use cloud services that provide automatic file back-up. While you may need a consistent internet connection to use these services, they generally run in the background and ensure that your files are updated continuously. In addition, many ransomware provide protection so that when they detect an attack, they automatically save the last viable file version, so that you can restore it later.
If you work with a lot of data, such as videographers and animators, you may want to invest in a network-attached storage (NAS). This system connects to your computer via your local network. Some models even come with their own PC and have built-in security systems. This ensures that your files are safe, and your backup storage is unlikely to be affected even if you are attacked.
Keep back-ups away from your computer
Whenever you are backing up your PC, you should always keep it in a storage device that is not directly connected to your computer. Your computer is the primary entry point for ransomware, malware, and all kinds of other attacks.
By physically disconnecting your back-ups, you help ensure their integrity. After all, if the device isn’t connected to your computer, it’s unlikely to be affected if your PC is attacked. Also, if someone takes your laptop, a backup stored elsewhere means you still have a copy of your data.
If you’re working with important, invaluable data—such as photos from a once-in-a-lifetime event, difficult to replicate research results, or your final thesis—you may also want to store it in an off-site location. , such as your email inbox or the cloud. So whatever happens, you can trust that you still have a copy of your data.
After all, while computer equipment can be expensive, the data it contains is far more valuable.