World Backup Day 2013: Avoid Data Loss, Don’t Be Fooled!

Today marks World Backup Day 2013, a day dedicated by technology enthusiasts to encourage everyone to secure their digital data. Despite frequent reminders about the importance of data backups, many still neglect this crucial practice until disaster strikes. Here, we offer some advice on how to protect the data on your Apple devices.

iOS devices

Many users of iOS devices are unaware that iCloud serves primarily as a safeguard for the data on your iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. Setting up an iCloud account gives you the option to automatically back up most of your device’s data.

However, certain data such as large video files and non-iTunes music won’t be backed up to iCloud and should be included in your regular computer backups.

To initiate iCloud backups, simply go to Settings, tap iCloud, and navigate to “Storage and Backup.” Here, you can view your current iCloud usage and enable automatic backups by toggling the iCloud Backup switch to On.

Once enabled, your device will automatically back up data like your camera roll, accounts, documents, and settings whenever it is charging, locked, and connected to Wi-Fi. This ensures that your device is backed up almost anytime it’s plugged in overnight.

However, those with limited broadband plans should monitor their data usage closely.

For manual backups, there’s a “Back Up Now” button available for immediate use.

Earlier this year, I explored a device called the PhotoFast i-FlashDrive HD, which, along with its companion app, can transfer photos and documents from an iOS device to a flash drive, and then to a Mac or PC.

If you haven’t enabled iCloud, remember that iTunes will automatically back up your iOS devices during sync. You can sync via cable or Wi-Fi, and even force a manual backup in iTunes if needed, especially before system updates.

Over time, these backups can consume significant disk space. You can manage and delete old backups in iTunes under Preferences by clicking the Devices tab.

For those looking to back up photos to a cloud service, options like Dropbox, SugarSync, and Google Drive are available. These services can automatically upload photos from your camera roll under certain conditions, such as when connected to Wi-Fi.

Macs

Backing up a Mac should be a routine practice, yet many delay this essential task until it’s too late. Here are some methods to consider:

Using External Drives

The simplest method is to use a USB flash drive or an SD card.

Flash drives are inexpensive and available in various capacities. Similarly, SD cards provide a portable option for backup storage. However, these methods require manual management, which can be easy to neglect.

Time Machine

Time Machine offers an automated backup solution by simply connecting an external drive formatted for macOS. Once set up, it continuously backs up your entire system and allows for easy file recovery. External drives with large capacities are relatively affordable, making this a cost-effective backup solution.

Cloning with SuperDuper! or Carbon Copy Cloner

For those who prefer a bootable backup, applications like SuperDuper! and Carbon Copy Cloner create exact copies of your drive.

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Sang

Wei is a dedicated writer for TUAW, bringing readers the latest insights and updates on all things Apple. With a keen eye for detail and a love for technology, Wei covers everything from the newest iPhone releases to the latest macOS updates. His articles are a go-to source for Apple enthusiasts who want to stay informed about their favorite gadgets, including the iPad, Apple Watch, and MacBook. Wei’s clear and engaging writing style makes complex tech topics accessible to everyone.