Device users previously opted to back up their files as a means to prepare for restoration in the event their hard drive crashed. Now, users are facing a different threat — ransomware. If a device becomes corrupted by this form of malware, the only way to restore files is from backups. If these files are not current, the user faces the loss of any files that have yet to be backed up.

To prevent the loss of files users can backup their files in these three ways:

3 Backup Methods to Keep Your Data Secure

  1. Your Windows 10 computer has the ability to back up your files.  This method will save your files to an external backup drive automatically every hour.
    1. Plug in an empty external drive into a USB port
    2. Access your Settings
    3. Go to Update & Security
    4. Select Backup
    5. Select Add a Drive
    6. Select the drive you connected in step 1
    7. Your computer will automatically backup every hour to the external drive
    8. To customise the backup, select More options
  2. You can also manually copy your files to an external drive. This way you can easily access your files on another computer if your current computer is not functioning. It is manual so it is up to you to setup a routing to copy the files to the external drive.
    1. Plug in an empty external drive into a USB port
    2. Open File Explorer
    3. Navigate to the C:\Users folder
    4. Select your profile and then CTRL-C to copy the folder
    5. Navigate to the external drive
    6. Press CTRL-V to paste the profile folder to the external drive. This may take some time depending on the number of files you have so be patient.
    7. Repeat the above process on a regular basis and when prompted to override the existing files, always answer yes.
  3. You can also back up your files using cloud storage.  This includes OneDrive,, Google Drive, and Drop Box to name a few.  These services are often free of charge.  The risk you run with using this form of storage is if hackers were able to breach any of these services.  Unlike external drives, when you upload your data to these services, you’re trusting a third-party to keep them safe.  By choosing an external device, you keep your data in your possession.

Beyond the Backup

Ultimately the backup method users choose is theirs.  Regardless of which option picked, backing up your data is critical.  With the growing cyber threats, it no longer seems to be a question of if, but when. Users never know when a malware infection may hit, or when your trusty hard drive is going to crash.  Once this happens, the data could be gone forever.  The only real hope of restoring it is having backup files available.

Once you start backing up your files, it is important you maintain them.  This means keeping them updated and ensuring they are free from malware.