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Why do I talk about three copies, if a “backup” is a copy? Because of (“Finagle’s law”), which loosely implies, If terrible stuff can happen, it will happen. And if you believe in fate (or Finagle’s law), a backup will fail when you need it most. 

Consider this scenario, if for no other reason: 

* You have only one copy of your data as a backup. 

* Your hard disk is dead and you lose all data on it. Luckily you have your backup!

 * Now you have your backup—the only copy of your data. 

Original data on hard disk

So, your data is in only one place without your original hard disk and until you make another copy, it’s not backed up. But, if you had your data in three places, you could lose any single copy and still be backed up. 

Two formats.

 With every backup system, there is some risk of failure. No system is perfect. I say this, as CDs, DVDs, USB sticks, external drives, and on-line backups are all subject to inherent risks of failure. Applying more than one type of backup is about reducing the risk of a backup failing when you need it most. 

Three copies system

 Finally, the further your backup copy is from the original, the better your data will be protected. Many people overlook the risk of common theft, or physical calamity, like fire or flood, destroying the data they have in their home or business. By storing your sensitive data somewhere else physically means that regardless of what happens to your computer or the backup you’ve stored on site, you’ll always be able to use the information you’ve kept off-site.

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  1. two physical, two offline for all critical files.
    for backups that are applications and executables – two one offline one online.

    Backups are risk reduction. The problem is the risk is a catastrophic failure.

  2. I have my older data saved up on a disc attached to my PC and newer data on my PC but I think you are right about back up and I will have to think about getting another backup disc because I write every day and the documentation just piles up.

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