An Easy Way to Protect Data on Your Personal Computer

Entrespace Group
Nov 23, 2020 · 7 min read

To protect the data on your personal computers, we recommend using a combination of Google Drive and Acronis True Image.

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Part 1. Using Google Drive

You can use Google Drive Backup & Sync to continuously backup your folders to Google Cloud.

At the time of writing, Google offers 15GB for free with a Google account. You can buy additional storage from Google, currently priced at $19.99/year for 100GB, $29.99/year for 200GB, and $99/year for 2TB).

The main advantage of copying files to Google Cloud is that you’ll be able to access those backed up files and documents from any computer with an Internet connection without requiring any special software other than an Internet browser.

To use Google Drive you will need to have a Gmail account. You can sign up for free.

We strongly recommend the activation of 2-factor authentication (2-step verification) for your Google account. It’s especially important if you end up storing personal information on Google Cloud.

With 2-factor authentication, to login and access your Google account you will need to enter a one-time, single-use code generated in real-time, in addition to your user ID and password.

Using hardware keys like Yubikey is the most secure way to perform 2-factor authentication. You can also use the Google Authenticator app on your mobile device (iOS, Android). We recommend activation of both — the hardware key and Google Authenticator, so that if one of them (your mobile device or the hardware key) is lost, you will still be able to use the remaining device.

Another option is to add your mobile phone number for receiving one-time codes as a text message (however it is not as secure as using a hardware device like Yubikey or Google Authenticator app — given that someone can duplicate your SIM card and use it to receive SMS messages with the codes).

At this time it will also be good to generate an application password that will be used for sending Acronis notifications (which we will describe in Part 2 below).

  1. Download Google Drive Backup & Sync software and install it on your computer. It will place an icon on your taskbar.
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2. Google Drive Backup & Sync icon on the Windows Taskbar
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3. Select Folders to Sync to Google Drive
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4. Select Google Drive Folders to Sync to the Local Disk

For businesses we recommend signing up for Google Workspace and using Shared Drives with Google Drive File Stream software.

Part 2. Using Acronis True Image

While Google Drive Backup and Sync is a good option to continuously backup individual files and folders, we recommend creating a copy of your entire hard disk, so that you can restore the disk with the operating system and with all the software and applications installed on your computer in case your computer gets lost or stolen, or if you hard disk gets corrupted.

Acronis True Image is a good option to capture a snapshot of your entire disk on an external USB drive. For example, if your hard disk gets corrupted, you will be able to buy a new disk, and restore the original snapshot of your computer using the Acronis backup.

The software pricing at the time of writing is $59.99 for 1 computer, $89.99 for 3 computers, and $119 for 5 computers. It’s a good idea to sign up for an Acronis ID so that you can download the software and copy the license keys anytime you need to install Acronis software on a new computer, or re-install it on your existing computer.

For computers running Windows OS, we recommend that you save your Windows license key so you can activate the Windows OS license in case you need to restore your backup on a new hard disk. To obtain the license key, open your Command Prompt (by typing ‘command’ on the Windows Start menu or in the Search box) and click ‘Run as Administrator’

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Run Command Prompt as Administrator

Then enter the following command:
wmic path softwarelicensingservice get OA3xOriginalProductKey
and press Enter. It will display a key, which you can copy to a Google Doc.

Follow these steps to backup the entire system:

  1. Click on the ‘Destination’ icon
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2. Selecting Backup Destination
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6. Selecting Backup Source

You can repeat this process each time you want to take a snapshot of your computer. For example, after installing new software — to make sure that you can restore all installed apps at any time, or on a periodic (e.g., weekly) basis.

If your computer has an SD card reader, you can keep an SD card inserted and configure the app to automatically copy specific folders (e.g., with your documents, pictures, etc.) to the SD card every hour.

  1. Click on the ‘Change Destination’ icon
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In summary

To backup your frequently changed files and folders, we recommend using a combination of Google Drive Backup and Sync and Acronis True Image.

Google Drive Backup and Sync software will continue to upload the files and folders each time there are changes. It’s good to keep in mind that some data may not get backed up in time to Google Drive if an issue with Internet connectivity is encountered.

To protect against that risk, you can also backup your frequently changed files and folders to a local SD card (which you can keep inserted in your computer at all times) using Acronis True Image. It can be configured to run every hour to copy the content changed since the previous backup.

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A model for backing up frequently changed folders and files

To create a copy of your entire computer disks with all the OS settings and configurations, and all your software applications, you can periodically use Acronis True Image to create full backups on an external USB drive, illustrated below.

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OfficeFLO

Sharing practices to enhance IT, telephony and communication experience for companies and families

Entrespace Group

Written by

A business design firm helping clients improve their products and services through innovation and analytics techniques and proven practices (www.entrespace.com)

OfficeFLO

OfficeFLO

As we discover, validate and verify good practices that we implement for our company, our clients, or, even, our families, we will try to document what we like and use, and share them in this publication.

Entrespace Group

Written by

A business design firm helping clients improve their products and services through innovation and analytics techniques and proven practices (www.entrespace.com)

OfficeFLO

OfficeFLO

As we discover, validate and verify good practices that we implement for our company, our clients, or, even, our families, we will try to document what we like and use, and share them in this publication.

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