Although everyone should use precautions while surfing the web, developers are especially vulnerable to threats. Backing up data is a great way to ensure that information is safe and secure; because, even if your information is saved in the cloud, it’s still vulnerable to hacking attempts and disaster. Computers fail; software fails. If you find yourself in a disaster scenario, you’re going to want to have a significant amount (if not all) of your data accessible on backup.
The following is a list of items developers should always back up, but before that, it’s important you understand how to backup your data and where to back it up.
First, the how: Most PCs and Macs come preloaded with software that assists with backups. Or, you could use another backup software program. Or, you can move individual pieces of data from folders to the backup cloud or hard drive.
Now the where: Data can be backed up to another device, an external hard drive, the cloud, or a USB. Keep in mind, security is essential. You want your devices and drives to be encrypted and protected by the best cyber security. A secure USB flash drive is one of the most sophisticated ways to protect backup data. It’s both FIPS Certified and features military grade encryption.
Without further ado, here’s a list of what developers should always keep backed up:
· Your code: As a developer, it’s essential you protect the code you create. It’s your art form, your bread-and-butter. Losing your hard work would be disastrous, so don’t lose it. Routinely save your work and back it often, even multiple times a day because power outages and other disasters can occur at any time.
· Design work: Artwork, logos, and other creative materials that will be utilized in web design and other projects.
· Client information: It’s important to keep client contact information on your mobile, but also in other places. Because tech can fail, you may want to invest in a simple rolodex just to be sure you always have that contact information. Moreover, you should back up payment information, invoices, and other client-related data.
· Databases: SQL scripts and more need complete backups just in case. Critical data is secured in your server databases, so practice caution when backing up this important information. Microsoft recommends testing your backups by restoring and recovering them routinely.
· Apps: iPhones and Apple devices have a built-in backup, but Android devices don’t. Android users can run backup software (make sure it’s trusted) to back up your apps, or you can follow this guide by CNet using your gmail account.
· Your website: Your website, your client’s websites, your mom’s, etc. etc. Don’t rely solely on your hosting provider to manage website backups.
· Old code: You know problems in code aren’t always immediately obvious, so save your old codes to ensure you’ve got code to fall back on. Like a novel, your code is your intellectual property and you never know when you’re going to want to edit or update. Plus, what may seem innocuous or unimportant one second may actually be worthwhile later.
The reality is that you should back up all your information. Even small data losses can be frustrating, so don’t risk it. For developers, the easiest way is to backup to secured USBs, which can travel with you and come fully encrypted. Use these to save your code as you write it and you can avoid a frustrating or potentially disastrous scenario.