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5 good practices to adopt to avoid losing your data

On the occasion of the World Data Backup Day, we have gathered for you 5 best practices to adopt to avoid losing your data. On the agenda: local backups, online backups, backup software and uploading your data to the main social networks.

1. Make local backups

Often considered the most secure method of data storage, local backups allow you to download your data to your own storage devices. Local hard drives, external hard drives, USB sticks or even CDs and DVDs for the more old school, there are many ways to make local backups.

By using this type of backup, you minimize the risk of data loss due to Internet access problems. Often portable, local backup devices are quite convenient because they don’t take up much space. Be careful though, in case of loss, theft or breakdown, you risk losing the data stored on it forever. It is therefore advisable to combine this method with online backups.

2. Make online backups

With the Internet becoming more than ever a part of our daily lives, online backups have become indispensable. They allow you to save your photos, videos, documents, files and software on online storage spaces that you can access from any device with a simple Internet connection. Although entrusting your data to third parties can sometimes be scary, online storage is now ultra secure. Accounts are password-protected, and data sent to the cloud is fully encrypted.

Compared to local backups, online backups offer a few advantages that should not be overlooked:

  • Dematerialization: by opting for online backups, you minimize the risk of data loss due to an accident (theft, loss, fire, breakdown…). No risk of forgetting either, because your data is accessible from all your devices, regardless of their available storage space.
  • A more economical solution: no need to invest in external hard drives, USB keys and other sometimes expensive storage devices, you can directly deposit your documents on online file storage platforms (which usually offer a few GB of free storage, then offer reasonable rates for storage spaces adapted to your needs).
  • Simplified sharing: online storage tools make it easy to share your files securely. You can allow your collaborators to access your drive to exchange certain files (large or not).

However, there is no such thing as zero risk, and it is sometimes useful to combine local and online backups to make sure you don’t lose your most important files.

3. Use backup software

In addition to file storage platforms, there is backup software designed to save and restore files on your computers and mobiles, as well as data on your servers. These tools allow you to schedule automatic backups by defining the desired frequency.

They usually offer customized storage spaces, which give you the possibility to save all your data, even the largest ones. If a problem occurs or data is lost, you can immediately start a recovery procedure from the backups you have made.

Operating systems usually offer free native tools for backing up your data locally to an external device, or online to a network location (Windows Backup, or Time Machine for macOS for example).

4. Make regular backups

To ensure that all lost data is recovered in the event of an incident, the CNIL strongly recommends “making frequent backups of data, whether they are in paper or electronic form”. Indeed, in case of data loss, only a recent backup allows to recover everything (or almost). There are many reasons for data loss, and they can happen at any time.

If you are still reluctant to back up your data regularly, just imagine that your smartphone suddenly stops working, and think of all the data that is permanently lost if your last full backup is more than 6 months old.

5. Remember to download your data from the Internet

Social networks also offer features to download your data. Find out how to back up your Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok data.


Among the Google data you can download are: emails, documents, calendar, photos or YouTube videos. Here are the steps to follow to save a copy of this data:

  • Sign in to your Google account, and go to Google Takeout, the page dedicated to downloading data,
  • Uncheck the boxes of what you don’t want to download (don’t uncheck anything if you want to download all your data),
  • Click on Next Step,
  • Choose the desired sending format, among: mail, Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive or Box,
  • Customize the export format by choosing between one-time archive or scheduled exports,
  • Customize the type of archive by choosing between .zip and .tgz,
  • Validate the download of your data archive.


The social network offers a dedicated feature to download a copy of your information. You are free to choose what you want to save or not, and you can choose the format among HTML and JSON. To save your data, here are the steps to follow:

  • Log into your Facebook account on the web,
  • Click on the downward-pointing arrow icon at the top right of your screen,
  • Select Settings and Privacy, then choose Settings,
  • On the left, click on Your Facebook Information,
  • Select View, and then add or remove the information from your account.Click on “Create a file” to confirm the request, and select the options (format of the archive, quality of the photos, desired period…),
  • Click Create File to confirm the request and wait for approval,
  • Once Facebook tells you that your information is ready, go to Available Copies,
  • Select Upload your information, then click on Upload, and enter your password to validate.

Once this is done, the upload will start automatically.


You can easily recover all your data published on Instagram (photos, videos, profile information…) in the form of a .zip archive. Please note that in order to make this request, you must have a confirmed email address and access to it. The steps are as follows:

  • Connect to the web version of Instagram,
  • Go to your profile and click on the gear icon to access the settings,
  • Select Privacy and Data,
  • Scroll down and choose Download Data,
  • Click Request a download,
  • Retrieve the archive from your mailbox.


The platform allows you to download an archive that contains all your published items since your very first tweet. The steps to follow to make a complete backup are as follows:

  • Log in to Twitter,
  • Go to the account settings by clicking on More, then choosing Your Account,
  • Select Download an archive of your data,
  • Re-enter your password and click Confirm,
  • Verify your identity by confirming your email address or phone number,
  • Click on Request your data,
  • Once the archive is ready, you will receive an email to tell you, go back to the settings, and click on Download data,
  • To validate the download, choose Download.

The archive will be saved in .zip format. Twitter specifies that the information included are: “your profile information, your tweets, your private messages, your moments, your media, a list of your subscribers, a list of accounts you follow, your address book, the lists you have created, of which you are a member or that you follow…”.


To download your entire TikTok data, here is the procedure to follow:

  • Open the TikTok mobile application,
  • Go to your profile via the small icon at the bottom right,
  • Select the burger menu (3 overlapping lines) located on the top right of your profile,
  • Click on the Privacy tab,
  • Click on Upload your data,
  • Choose between TXT or JSON format, and validate by clicking on Request your data,
  • The procedure may take some time (up to 4 days depending on TikTok), and then you can download your all the data in a ZIP archive.

The data included in the archive includes: profile information, video history, comments and settings information. Videos that you have posted or saved in your drafts are not included. To save them, go to your profile and save them manually one by one with the following steps:

  • Click on the video you want to download,
  • Press the 3-dot icon, and select Save Video.

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