Tips For Keeping Your Data Safe and Secured On a Mac

17th February 2020

In this ultra-fast digital age we live in today, cyber-attacks are unfortunately becoming the norm in our society. Identify theft, data breaches, phishing, and scamming are only to mention some of the top cybercrimes that happen every day. Whether you are an individual or a business, it is vital to keep your information safe and secure by securely backing up your data. Today, we will discuss backing up your data using Apple’s Time Machine, two storage options used when backing up, and a Mac backup guide to help you back up your data to keep it safe and secure.

Time Machine

Whether you are using a Mac laptop or a Mac desktop, Apple has provided its consumers a seamless way to back up your data using Time Machine. It is built-in, and part of the software package included with your Mac. Press F4 on your keyboard to access it via the “Other” folder in your system’s features list of applications.

Storage Options

You have several storage options, of which you don’t have to choose one over the other, you can use a combination of them if you wish. However, we will just briefly cover the two types that are generally used.


The first method is to use iCloud to back up your Mac and all the data in it. As the name suggests, you will be backing up your information to Apple’s cloud service. At the time of writing, Apple offers 5 gigabytes for free using iCloud. If you require more space, they also offer several options for more space at a monthly cost. Five gigs, however, should be enough for a standard user. If you don’t want to pay for a monthly subscription, but need more space, that brings us to our next section:

External Hard Drive

The other storage option you can use to backup your information is to use Time Machine with an external hard drive. If you feel that iCloud’s five gigs will not suffice and do not wish to pay a monthly premium, then using an external hard drive will benefit you when backing up your Mac.

Again, you do not have to use one over the other exclusively, you can use both. For instance, you can take advantage of the free five gigs from iCloud and also use an external hard drive to backup the rest of your data in your Mac using Time Machine.

How To Backup Using Time Machine and iCloud

You are now probably wanting to know how to backup your Mac. To backup your Mac using Time Machine and iCloud, you will first need to ensure you have selected iCloud as your backup storage choice. Do this by opening your system’s preferences menu and clicking on iCloud and selecting iCloud drive. Then select options next to iCloud drive and make sure the desktop and documents folders are selected. You can, then, enter Time Machine’s preferences to choose if you would like it to automatically backup your Mac or not.

How To Backup Using Time Machine and an External Hard Drive

Backing up your Mac using an external hard drive is pretty straightforward. However, you may want to consider at least a hard drive that has a minimum capacity of 1 TB. This is to ensure you have ample room for your backups. There is also an option for Time Machine to delete your oldest backups to make room for new ones. To backup using an external hard drive, connect your hard drive to your laptop or desktop first. Then, open Time Machine and choose “select disk.” Choose the external hard drive you want to use for your backup and click “use disk.” You can choose whether or not you want Time Machine to automatically backup or Mac as well.

Safe and Secure

Now that you know what Time Machine is, the storage options you have, and how to backup your Mac, you can now keep your data safe and secure by using this Mac backup guide. Don’t forget to encrypt your backups by choosing that option in Time Machine’s preferences to add another layer of security to protect your information.

Corey is an all round tech guru who has worked at some major blue chip companies. He started Poweronemedia to share his views and knowledge with the rest of the blogging world.