Information Security Tips Series
Owing to the increase of storage capacity and daily information, data backup and classification have become a hot topic of our daily work. Before analysing the strength of different backup methods, let us first examine the possible reasons of data loss.
1) Hardware failure and damage
Changing of environment and temperature, as well as unexpected collision and long-term operation may downgrade the performance of hardware, or even result in damage.
2) Malfunction or destruction of operating system
It is not only a hardware issue; software is also a concern for many users. Sometimes the operating system will have problems, with users finding it difficult to access the file or finding it corrupted in the worst case.
3) Virus infection
If virus infects the data file, antivirus software might clean the file automatically. Otherwise, the infected file may be quarantined or deleted. If there were no such backup, the file would be lost and cannot be recovered.
4) Unintentional removal
In fact, this kind of data loss may involve a minority of people because the file sometimes can be restored from the Recycle Bin or by using the recovery software.
5) Personal loss or stealing of hardware
Loss or theft of hardware (such as mobile phone, CD or USB flash drive/external hard disk) may cause the disclosure of data and it is difficult to regain them.
The followings are some recommendations for backup plan.
1) Determination on files for backup and centralised management
Personal data such as photos, important documents, e-mail and e-mail address are required for backup. All these files should be divided into different folders and classified in categories.
2) Encryption for important data
Using encryption technology for backup on an important document can help prevent unauthorised access and enhance confidentiality.
3) Proper selection of backup media
Backup media are inseparable from CD/DVD, USB flash drive or external hard drive, which are easy to carry and maintain.
4) Backup process observation
The duration of backup process is based on the data capacity. However, negligence of this procedure may overlook the error or missing data. Crosschecking of the backup log is significant for avoiding any mistake.
5) Storing media properly with labelling and regular inspection.
Backup media should be stored in an area without magnetic interference but with suitable humidity. To avoid environmental threats such as fire and water, backup media should be stored offsite. The backup date and data type should be clearly labelled on the media in order to avoid overwriting. Conducting regular inspection can ensure the data is correct and accessible. For disposal of the expired backup media, users should follow the principle of data protection.
6) Cloud backup
Nowadays, a large volume of free storage space is available on the Internet, which is regarded as cloud backup. This online backup service can be employed any where and any time as long as the Internet connection is available. However, user should review the terms and conditions from the service provider carefully lest the change of service might cause data loss or affect performance reliability. Furthermore, sensitive information should be encrypted prior to uploading to service provider to enhance security.
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