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    Top Five Ways to Keep Your Data Safe

    Every year, we create more data than the year before. If you can believe it, 90 percent of the data in the world today was created in the last two years alone. IBM has estimated that our current daily creation rate is 2.5 quintillion bytes of data. IDC projects that the digital universe will reach 40 zettabytes (ZB) by 2020, which is 50 times larger than the digital universe at the beginning of 2010.

    Consumers and businesses alike are wising up to the value of cloud storage, and we can expect that more and more of both will begin to store their most valuable digital possessions there in the coming years.

    One of the reasons this hasn’t already happened, however, is that many people aren’t sure exactly how to choose the right cloud storage service, which files to back up, how often to do it and so on. As we increasingly create more photos, music, videos, emails and documents, backup and recovery becomes more important than ever before.

    In that spirit, Acronis has shared its top five tips for ensuring that your digital data is safe and secure now and in the future.

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    Click through for the top five ways you can keep your critical data safe, as identified by Acronis.

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    Schedule regular backups

    Backups should be made regularly. After an initial full backup of the entire system, make sure you set up automatic, incremental backups. Incremental backups are vital because they store only what has been changed or added since the last full backup, allowing you to save disk space, as well as decreasing the time each backup takes.

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    Invest in a good external drive

    Your first-line backups should be stored on removable media or removable drives. This will help ensure your data is safe, even if your device is lost or stolen.

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    Double-protect your system

    Of course, external backup alone isn’t enough. You should also provide a second layer of security for your most important data by backing it up to the cloud. With the right software, you can also encrypt the data to keep it safe in the event of a hack attempt. A second backup in the cloud can also protect your data from physical damage resulting from an accident, natural disaster or other incident.

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    Test your recovery plan

    Test out your backup system. It’s much better to find out your system isn’t perfect now, before something bad happens. Then you can fine-tune your approach until you’re certain that, even in a worst-case scenario, your data will be recoverable.

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    Check your system prior to any installation

    Before installing any new programs, software updates or drivers, it is recommended that you complete a full backup. This way if something goes wrong with your hard drive, you will avoid losing precious data. Any changes or losses can then be reversed by installing from your backup.

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