In This Chapter
Understanding backup options
Using Time Machine
Working with data-recovery programs
Encrypting your data
Backing up data is something that many people routinely ignore, like changing the oil in their car on a regular basis. The only time most people think about backing up their data is after they've already lost something important, such as a business presentation, or a folder full of close-to-the-heart family photos. Of course, by that time, it's already too late.
Backing up your data might not sound as exciting as playing video games or browsing the Web, but it should be a part of your everyday routine. If you can't risk losing your data, you can't risk not taking the time to back it up.
The simplest and most obvious solution for backing up your data is to make duplicate copies of every important file. Although this seems simple in theory, you must make sure to copy your files periodically, such as at the end of every day. If you forget to copy your files, your backup copies could become woefully outdated, which can make them nearly useless.
Another issue with backing up data concerns storing and retrieving it. If you store duplicates of your important files on your hard drive, you have to make sure you don't accidentally use those backup files instead of the original files (and then accidentally copy the obsolete original files over the backup copies that are ...