The basics
Te pūrua i ō raraunga me ō pūrere

Back up your data and devices

When you back up your data, you're creating an up-to-date copy of all the information you have stored on your devices, so you don't have to worry about losing it.

Why it matters

We all keep a lot of data on our devices – documents, photos, all sorts of personal information. Keeping a backup of your data is like having a safety net for it. It means that if any of your devices are lost or stolen, the data on them won’t be gone forever – you can replace it with the copy on your backup.

How to protect yourself

First, make sure you have something to store your backups on. Use an external hard drive or a USB drive. You can use a cloud-based service – like iCloud – to store a copy of your data too.

  • Do backups regularly

    Get into a routine of doing your backups regularly. How often you back up depends on how often your data changes. For example, you could choose to do your backups weekly or monthly, depending on how often you save new data to your devices.

  • Have different backups

    If you can, keep two different copies of your backups and store them in different places. That way if someone was to break in and steal your laptop and from your home, you’d still have a copy of your data saved elsewhere.

    One way to do this is to use physical (an external hard drive or ) for one copy, and a cloud-based backup system (like iCloud) for the other.

  • Make sure your hard drive backups are stored offline

    If you’re using a USB drive or an external hard drive to store your backups, don't leave it connected to either your or one of your devices all the time. Make sure you disconnect it when you're not using it. If you leave it connected, anything that could affect your network or your – like a virus – will affect the backup too.

  • Test your backups

    Make sure your backups work and that your data is stored correctly by checking them from time to time. Check that:

    • the files on your backup work
    • you can access the files, and
    • you can copy them back onto your device.

    Check your machine is free of like viruses before you restore a backup from a physical device like your hard drive.

  • Protect your backed up data with passwords

    Secure your backup by making sure it's protected with a strong password to stop anyone else accessing the data on it without you knowing. You should also set up (2FA) if it’s available.

    This includes your physical backups (USB drive or external hard drive) as well as your cloud-based ones.

    How to create good passwords

    Use two-factor authentication to protect your accounts

  • Build up your protection

    Doing regular back-ups is a great way to protect your data online, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle.

    There are other good online security practices you can add to help keep your information safe. For example, make sure you install any security updates on your devices as they become available, and make sure you use good too.

    Keep up with your updates

    Top tips for online security

Get help

If you’ve experienced an online security issue, your first step is to contact the service provider.

You can also report an online issue or security incident to us at CERT NZ.

Report to CERT NZ