Easy Windows Backup

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Easy Windows Backup: a reader asks…

Is there a way I can use my Dropbox Plus (1tb of storage) account to make keeping my Windows 10 computer backed up easier?

Unless you have a huge media library in Dropbox, you’re probably only using a fraction of the storage space you’re paying for on Dropbox. So definitely you can use Dropbox to streamline your backup plan. Take a look at my article Change Windows Default Folder Locations which shows how you can move all your personal folders (and files) in Windows 10 to be inside the Dropbox folder, which ensures they are kept backed up in a secure online location.

This is especially nice if you use multiple computers, since they’d all share the same set of documents, pictures, music, etc. And you don’t have to worry about accidentally erasing files or folders. Your Dropbox Pro account includes its own 30-day backup, so you can go to Dropbox.com and log in to recover your deleted files and/or folders.

Because all your personal files are in the cloud, you can also access them from other devices such as your smartphone or tablet. Or from any computer on the internet. Just be sure to use good security to protect your files, including:

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  1. woman-holding-a-checklist-image-from-shutterstockuse a very strong password and two-step verification.
  2. When using another’s computer to log into Dropbox.com, be sure to log out when finished and clear the web browser‘s cache (usually by closing or quitting the program).
  3. Secure any other devices that access Dropbox (smartphone/tablet) so that if stolen, your files can’t be accessed.

Other than the above, you don’t need to worry much about the security of your files in the cloud. Dropbox uses extremely robust security to protect your files, both while stored on their servers and in transit between your computer/devices and their server. Your files are always encrypted and protected from snooping. See https://www.dropbox.com/security for more info.

In fact, your files are actually more at risk on your own computer than they are in the cloud. The proliferation of malware (including spyware and computer viruses) means that you must take steps to protect your computer from such threats. Fortunately, Microsoft has finally provided decent-but-basic protection in the built-in Windows Defender program. If you want to take additional steps, you could add Malwarebytes Premium, or replace Windows Defender with Bitdefender Internet Security. Of course, no program is going to provide protection (especially from yourself!), so you need to also practice safe computing – I have handy guides here and here.

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Lastly, please note that the above easy backup method is only for your personal files (likely the most important thing on your plate!). For a full computer backup and disaster recovery plan, check out my article Win10-2 things for recovery.

 

There are currently 654 reader comments on my articles, care to join in? Use the Leave a Comment form below/at the bottom of any existing comments. This is a good place to ask follow-on questions on this subject.

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