Top 5 Backup Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague

Top 5 Backup Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague

Have you ever experienced the sheer panic of realizing your precious data is lost forever? It’s a heart-pounding, stomach-churning experience that no one should have to go through. As a computer repair technician in the UK, I’ve seen it all – from frantic customers whose hard drives have crashed to small businesses whose entire operations have come to a screeching halt due to a ransomware attack.

The truth is, backups are the unsung heroes of the digital age. They’re the insurance policy that protects us from the unexpected – a safeguard against the ever-looming threat of data loss. But as essential as they are, it’s all too easy to make critical mistakes that can turn your backup strategy into a ticking time bomb.

In this comprehensive article, I’ll share the top 5 backup mistakes you need to avoid like the plague. By the end, you’ll have a crystal-clear understanding of how to bulletproof your data and keep your device (or business) running smoothly, no matter what life throws your way.

1. Relying on a Single Backup Solution

Ah, the classic “set it and forget it” approach. It’s a common trap that many fall into, thinking that a single backup solution is all they need. But let me tell you, my friend, that’s about as reliable as a one-legged man in a butt-kicking contest.

The truth is, no backup solution is infallible. Hard drives can fail, cloud storage can glitch, and tape backups can become corrupted. That’s why it’s crucial to have a multi-layered backup strategy that covers all your bases. [1]

Think about it this way – if your house was on fire, would you rely on just one fire extinguisher to save the day? Of course not! You’d want a whole arsenal of extinguishers, just in case. The same principle applies to backups.

By diversifying your backup methods – say, a local external hard drive, a cloud-based solution, and even an off-site physical backup – you’re creating a safety net that can catch you no matter what. Trust me, it’s a small investment that can save you from a world of hurt down the line.

2. Neglecting to Test Your Backups

Imagine this scenario: you’ve been diligently backing up your data for years, feeling all smug and secure. But then, when disaster strikes and you need to restore that crucial file, you discover that your backups are completely useless. Yikes!

It’s a nightmare scenario, but one that happens far too often. That’s why regularly testing your backups is an absolute must. [2] Think of it as a fire drill for your data – you need to make sure your backup process is working properly before you actually need it.

Start by periodically restoring a few random files or folders from your backups. This will help you identify any issues with the backup process, such as corrupted files or incompatible file formats. And don’t just test the backup – also test the restore process, to ensure that you can actually get your data back when you need it.

Trust me, the few minutes it takes to test your backups will be nothing compared to the headache of trying to recover from a failed backup. It’s a small price to pay for the peace of mind of knowing your data is truly secure.

3. Forgetting to Backup Your Backup

I know what you’re thinking – “But I already have a backup! Why do I need to backup my backup?” Well, let me tell you, my friend, that’s like having a spare tire and then forgetting to pack it in your car.

It may seem like overkill, but backing up your backups is a crucial step in a bulletproof data protection strategy. [3] After all, what good is a backup if it gets corrupted, stolen, or destroyed along with your primary data?

Think about it this way – if your local backup drive fails or your cloud storage gets hacked, you’ll be left high and dry without a reliable way to restore your files. That’s why it’s essential to have a secondary backup, whether it’s another external hard drive, a different cloud service, or even a physical backup stored off-site.

By creating this redundancy, you’re ensuring that no matter what happens, you’ll always have a way to get your data back. It’s the backup equivalent of having a spare tire in your trunk – it may seem like a hassle, but when you need it, you’ll be thanking your past self for the foresight.

4. Ignoring Backup Schedules

Alright, let’s talk about the importance of backup schedules. Now, I know what you’re thinking – “But I backup my data every day! Surely that’s enough, right?” Wrong, my friend. In the fast-paced, ever-changing world of technology, daily backups just won’t cut it.

Think about it this way – what happens if your hard drive fails unexpectedly, or you get hit with a ransomware attack that encrypts your files? If your last backup was a week ago, you could be losing days’ worth of critical data. [4] That’s a nightmare scenario no one wants to experience.

That’s why it’s crucial to have a backup schedule that’s tailored to your specific needs and usage patterns. For some, that might mean hourly backups for mission-critical data. For others, a daily or weekly schedule might be more appropriate. The key is to find the sweet spot that ensures your data is protected without overwhelming you with unnecessary backup sessions.

And don’t forget to factor in the time it takes to complete a full backup. If you’re backing up terabytes of data, a daily backup might not be feasible. In those cases, consider implementing a more comprehensive schedule, like a weekly full backup with daily incremental backups.

Trust me, taking the time to create a thoughtful backup schedule will pay dividends in the long run. It’s the difference between sleeping soundly at night and waking up in a cold sweat, wondering if you’ll ever see your precious data again.

5. Failing to Secure Your Backups

Ah, the final and perhaps most insidious backup mistake – failing to secure your backups. It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into, especially when you’re focused on the sheer logistics of getting your data protected.

But let me tell you, my friend, that’s a recipe for disaster. [5] Think about it – if your backups are vulnerable to hacking, theft, or physical damage, then all your hard work in creating a robust backup strategy will be for naught.

That’s why it’s essential to treat your backups with the same level of care and attention as your primary data. This means encrypting your backup files, using strong passwords, and storing your backup drives in a secure, climate-controlled environment.

And don’t forget about the physical security of your backups. If you’re using an external hard drive or a NAS (network-attached storage) device, make sure they’re kept in a safe, locked location. [6] After all, what good is a backup if a pesky burglar can just walk off with it?

By taking these crucial security measures, you’re ensuring that your backups are truly the last line of defense against data loss. It’s the digital equivalent of a steel-reinforced vault – a fortress that can withstand even the most determined attacks.


So there you have it, the top 5 backup mistakes that you need to avoid like the plague. From relying on a single backup solution to failing to secure your backups, these are the pitfalls that can turn your data protection strategy into a ticking time bomb.

But fear not, my friends! By following the strategies I’ve outlined in this article, you can bulletproof your data and keep your devices (or business) running smoothly, no matter what life throws your way.

Remember, backup isn’t just a one-time task – it’s an ongoing commitment that requires diligence, creativity, and a healthy dose of paranoia. But trust me, the peace of mind you’ll gain is worth every minute of effort.

So go forth, backup your data, and rest easy knowing that your precious information is safe and sound. And if you ever need a little extra help, you know where to find me – your friendly neighborhood computer repair technician, ready to save the day with a well-timed backup strategy.


[1] SecureSlate. (n.d.). 5 Common SOC 2 Security Mistakes to Avoid Like the Plague. Medium.

[2] Reddit. (2013). Can not use Syno NAS with the Veeam Backup Agent? [Online forum post].

[3] Veritas. (2014). Various issues using VM Query. Vox.

[4] Reddit. (2014). iOS 17 shouldn’t have been released for XR.

[5] Quora. (n.d.). What personal finance mistakes should everyone avoid?

[6] Spiceworks. (2014). Anyone with Novastor Novabackup experience?

[7] The Unremarkable Climber. (2014). How Not to Plan a Rock Climbing Trip: Your #1 Mistake.



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