What is “backup”?

Several times per week I have clients tell me they backed something up, when in fact they have not. They truly believe they have made their precious files and photos safe! When I reveal to them that they have not, they’re mortified.

Putting your photos into the cloud does not mean they’re backed up. If they are only in the cloud and not also on your Mac, they’re at risk. Putting a precious thesis draft onto a USB stick is not necessarily a backup. If you make any changes to the thesis on the Mac, those changes are at risk until the USB stick gets updated with the latest version. Putting a copy of your business receipts and financials onto an external hard drive may or may not be a backup. If you update those files and don’t have the Mac automatically updating the external hard drive, those files are at risk.

“Backup” means: The best and most recent version of your file is in two “containers” at the same time.

What do I mean by “containers”? Let’s use Tupperware and paper as an example. Let’s say you received a letter from a loved one, and it’s precious. For the letter to be backed up, you would need to: make a photocopy of the letter, put the original letter into one Tupperware container, put the photocopy into a second Tupperware container, then bring the second one to your mom’s house and stick it in a closet. THAT is backup. Your house — or your mom’s house, heaven forbid — could go up in flames and you will still have one copy of your letter.

If the most recent file of your file is on BOTH your Mac and also on a USB stick (ie. two “containers”), then it’s backed up. If your most current photos are on BOTH your Mac and also in the cloud (yes, the cloud is just another type of “container”), then they’re backed up. If those financials you’ve agonized over are in Dropbox AND on an external hard drive, they’re backed up. Best of all? They’re on your Mac, and in Dropbox, and automatically updating to an external hard drive.

Most people need help with making all of that happen automatically, and in a way that keeps the most recent changes to the files up-to-date between two or more “containers.”

That’s where we come in. Hire a pro to help you with your backup! Call Macinhome.

No, we don’t sell Tupperware.

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