Disks Are Treacherous And Not To Be Trusted

Murphy’s Law

Murhpy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” This includes the disks in your computer. What’s on your computer? Your phone? The phd thesis and all the data you’ve spent the last two years working on? Irreplaceable photos and videos of your children growing up? What would happen if/when the disk or flash storage chip dies? How much would you pay to get it back? The criminals behind ransomware know that many of you will pay hundreds to get it back.

How can you protect yourself against this?

Image of a disk drive
Dead Disk


The answer is backups. Having multiple up to date copies of your important data. A rule of thumb is 3-2-1. This means having: 3 copies of your data, on 2 different media, 1 of which is off-site. Some people add: with 0 errors.

For me this is having 1) my live data on my PC, 2) a local backup on an external disk (which is only connected when creating/restoring backups), and 3) an off-site copy on a cloud backup service. And testing/verifying them occasionally.

For most people, a cloud service like Dropbox, Box, or Google Drive is probably sufficient. Remember to connect your phones and tablets, as well as your laptops and desktops.