"Backing up" means making a copy of your most important files; this can then be used if the original is lost or damaged.
I remember a young mother standing in my shop because her hard drive had failed and all of her childs pictures were on that single drive..WE both cried. They were irreplaceable. There was nothing I could do to help as the drive was beyond repair. This can happen to anyone's computer.
In my last column we explored ways to keep your info and data safe from outside attacks... now it's time to stress the importance of having a backup of your data. We will explore ways to organize these files in a future column. But for now just get those files backed up. Things like contacts, internet favorites, desktop , photos, music, and documents folders can also be saved.
Backing up your data can be fairly easy to do and can save you great amounts of time as well as ensure that your data is secure in the case of disaster, power surge, system crash, a computer virus, or physical damage to the computer. While data may be able to be recovered it can sometimes be quite expensive or not possible at all. It might even be advisable to keep a copy of your data offsite. Items like Tax records are required to be kept for a set amount of time so these are especially important. If you do your bookkeeping on your computer having a backup can save you from having to redo your work. Backup regularly and in more than one place.
There are various types of backup available and the one you choose will generally depend on time, security and budget. There are a number of frequently used backup solutions to suit your needs and skill level. Memory sticks or USB flash drive devices are easy to use and available with different storage capacities. They are an excellent choice for mobile users. The disadvantages of these cheaper devices are that they are at times unreliable and easy to lose or damage due to their small size. External hard drives are also very popular. CD-RW or DVD-RW, online or "cloud" backups are also options. Another thing to remember when backing up is always test your copied data. A backup is useless if it cannot restore correctly. You can also visit your local computer shop if you're not comfortable with doing your backup and they can do it for you or show you how to perform your own backups.
Having an Uninterruptable Power Supply, also known as a battery backup, may also save you from lost data in the case of power surges and fluctuations They are more than just a surge protector and having the right one will allow you time to save your precious work and shut down your computer to prevent damage. It's important to chose one to fit your needs.
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