Keeping Data Safe With Time Machine

Apple has never been a stranger to providing ways for users to protect their important data and the many “memory” files they create and store on their Macs. They have for a long time provide iDisk to allow users the ability to store and share files online with friends and family. With the release of OS X 10.5 leopard they provided a way for users to protect their data by including data backup to external drives as a new feature in the Operating System.

Named Time Machine, the software was designed to let you automatically, and worry free, keep backup and iterative copies of the files you store. Some may argue that the software was only created to sell Time Capsules, external hard drives that Macs and PCs could connect to save back ups of the important files they were working on, or the entire system so that users could restore their Macs in case of a bad hard drive or corrupted system files. Either way, the option to store backups of important files is a must have in our modern digital age.

Snow Leopard Time Machine

Apple made slight modifications and enhancements to the Snow Leopard Time Machine software. Snow Leopard, the latest version of Apple’s operating system, wasn’t a huge adjustment to interface and feel but it was a big improvement to the way the system functioned and the back end workings of your computer.

The Snow Leopard Time Machine version of the software allows users the same features as previous versions. Connect to Time Capsule or through a USB or Firewire external hard drive to your Mac running Snow Leopard and let Time Machine back up your data.

Snow Leopard Time Machine has an “automatic” configuration, but you can specify the files or folders you’d like it to backup by following these steps:

  1. Command Click, or Right Click, on the Time Machine icon in the Dock and select Open Time Machine Preferences
  2. Once the Preference Screen opens, Make sure to turn on the software
  3. Snow Leopard Time Machine.png
  4. Next, Select the Options button to tell Snow Leopard Time Machine which files to ignore. Or you can Select the Disk Time Machine will use for backups.
  5. Snow Leopard Time Machine Options.png
  6. On the Options Screen, click the plus button and select the folders you don’t want Time Machine to backup. Personally, I would have preferred if Apple let me select just the files I wanted it to backup. It would be a much easier process. Repeat this step until all files you don’t want backed up have been added.

If you follow these steps in Time Machine on Snow Leopard then the next backup will only include the files you’ve selected.

If you’d like to really ensure your data is backed up and secure, it may be a good idea to backup your data off site. I personally use services from Mozy to do this. For just a few dollars a month (Try out their free trial) I keep my most important files backed up on Mozy remote servers. This lets me know my files stay safe and secure. I couldn’t recommend their services more as I’ve already benefited from their offsite backups.