March 31 is World Backup Day. While not an officially recognized holiday or commemoration, the date should serve as a reminder that you would be very, very unhappy if your Macintosh crashed, or you lost your iPhone or iPad.
While there are lots of statistics on the importance of backing up your data, here are some of the more sobering:
- 20% of computer users have never backed up their data.
- 10% of smartphone users have had their phone stolen.
- Almost 100% of computer and smartphone users have been targeted by malware designed to either steal your data or corrupt it.
Fortunately, it is very easy to backup a Macintosh. Time Machine, the backup software included with every version of macOS since MacOS 10.6, requires nothing more than a spare disk, attached to your machine via FireWire, Thunderbolt, or USB 3.0. (USB 2.0 works, too, just more slowly.) You can get an external drive, inexpensively, from Other World Computing, Office Depot, Best Buy, Amazon, or even Apple’s website.
If you’ve never used Time Machine, Apple has clear instructions if you need help: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201250
Backing up your iPhone, iPad, or (if you still have one) iPod is possibly even easier, and again, Apple has clear instructions: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203977
Keep in mind that your iPhone probably has your most complete list of names, addresses and phone numbers of your relatives, friends, coworkers, hair dressers and barbers, and other important contacts. Your iPhone probably has thousands of photos on it, many of them located nowhere else. Backing up all of this information to your Mac or to the cloud is — easy.
Similarly, your Macintosh probably has financial records (including income tax records), movies, photos, songs, your unfinished novel, and tens of thousands of other documents that you’d find very depressing if they disappeared.
While you are sheltering in place and observing social distancing, shelter your data: back up your iPhone, iPad, and Macintosh.