How would you answer to the rhetorical question “What is a greater crime than the loss of time?” Many Apple users would be justified in answering that the loss of data, which is followed by the waste of time on recovering missing files, is the worst wrongdoing that can be committed in the digital universe. For this reason, Mac owners should never fail to back up their data and create a Mac recovery disk.

Data loss is much more common than many members of the Apple family realize. According to a recent survey, more than 50 percent of respondents have either experienced data loss or know someone who has lost data. There are many causes for the loss of valuable files. They can be accidentally deleted by a user or their close ones. Viruses and malware can substantially damage operational software, thereby corrupting stored data. Mechanical damages and manufacturing defects of a storage device are especially dangerous to saved files because there’s no guarantee that they can be recovered. Other reasons for data loss are power failures, theft, and fire accidents. It follows that every prudent Apple user should have a reliable backup strategy to avoid a great disappointment of unexpectedly losing important and irreplaceable information. Keep on reading to find out effective methods of securing data on a Mac.

3-2-1 Strategy

To safeguard your computer against data loss and spare yourself a nightmare scenario in which you have to contact your clients informing them about vanished documents, it is worth taking active preventative steps. The 3-2-1 backup strategy is a simple and effective way to escape data loss. The strategy rests on three safety pillars: 3 data copies, 2 local copies on different storage mediums, and 1 secure storage offsite. The basic principle is the more copies there are, the lower risk of losing data. If something happens to the original data, a user can always fall back on the backup to restore important files. To exemplify the practical application of the strategy, let’s consider the proper preservation of example.jpg file. The original example.jpg file resides on a Mac. The second copy of the file should be on an external drive, which might be used as a Time Machine. As for one secure offsite copy of example.jpg file, it should be preserved with the help of an online backup solution.

The reason for having two onsite file copies is that it’s a simple way of accessing data in case the original file is lost. If a hard drive of a MacBook or Mac crashes, a user can quickly restore their data with the help of an external drive. It has to be borne in mind, however, that the external drive should be regularly updated to minimize the exposure to data loss. It comes without saying that onsite backup shouldn’t be performed manually. In fact, many external hard drives are shipped with free backup software that makes the process of data saving more practical.

Time Machine

Time Machine is a native backup solution that comes with every macOS. While the backup app is extremely sophisticated, its use is not difficult at all. To set it up, a user has to connect an external drive to their MacBook or Mac and use it as a backup disk.

time machine for mac

It is also a good idea to encrypt the external drive to prevent third parties from illegally accessing it. Time Machine can make hourly, daily, and monthly backups, thereby ensuring the safe storage of user data. Most importantly, the app is totally free.

macos time machine

Although having an onsite backup is a reliable way of preserving important files, it is also necessary to have at least one offsite copy of data. The necessity to invest in offsite backup is grounded in the fact that the two onsite copies of data, which are located close to each other, are susceptible to physical damage, virus infection, and theft. Therefore, one should always avail themselves of numerous online backup solutions.

Online Backup Solutions

There are many online backup services that can be effectively used to preserve the most precious files of Mac users. Such services allow saving data in a remote location, which allows accessing it from any place. When choosing a backup service, a user should look for providers offering unlimited online backups at a reasonable price. The majority of backup plans starts at $50 per year.

iCloud Backup

Those Mac users who want to keep their peace of mind and don’t have more than 5 GB of essential data can opt for the iCloud backup plan. It is a go-to option for many Apple aficionados because it allows quickly restoring their data. The need to have a cloud backup is especially prominent for those users who regularly switch between different iOS devices. However, with the preponderance of alternative online backup solutions and the sheer size of essential data on Macs, the option is rarely used by someone other than iPhone and iPad owners.