Mac tips: How to backup important data and prevent data loss

How to back up data on a Mac

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Maintaining regular backups of your most important data is critical because, without it, you will suffer a data loss at some point. So in this article, I will share Mac tips about how to backup sensitive data to prevent data loss using a layered approach.

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How to prevent data loss

I have made the experience that automation is key to a successful data backup and recovery strategy. Additionally, I have learned that there is no silver bullet when it comes to data storage, archiving and backup. As a result, I decided to use a layered approach to data backup and recovery.

Importance of data

Some data is more important than other. Applications, for instance, are of low importance since I can easily reproduce them by re-downloading or, in the worst case, re-purchasing them. Business-critical data (finance files, contracts, etc.) is important since I may not be able to reproduce it quickly. Same with family photos and videos.

Size and volume of data

The size of data also plays an important role since it determines storage price and speed of backup/restore.

How often do I use the data

Data I don’t use on a regular basis, I store in a slower and less convenient-to-access storage container, whereas data I use frequently I want to keep easily accessible (i.e., Dropbox).

How long does the restore take

Restore time is a major factor if the backup size is beyond a few gigabytes. I once had to restore my MacBook Pro via Time Capsule over WiFi, and it took hours to complete, during which my MacBook Pro was unusable, and I couldn’t work. Besides the above reasons, I also try to avoid single points of failure.