Backing up

What is a backup? Do I need to backup? How do I backup?

Ask yourself the following question – If my computer was stolen, what would I lose?

If the answer is all my photo’s and documents then you should be backing up.

  1. A back-up is when you have copies of your precious files (Photo’s and Documents) stored on another device. Other devices include USB memory sticks, external hard drives, more than one computer and more recently in the cloud.
  2. A back-up is not a back-up unless you have tested it. To test the back up I would suggest using another device and performing a quick scan of the files to see if they open up. So for example your could plug an external hard drive into another laptop and see if you can open the photo’s.
  3. A back-up device should be stored in a physically separate location. This is where the cloud can be useful as it allows you to store your files away from the main computer.
  4. Remember to keep any software you have bought in a safe place – The most obvious one here is Microsoft Office.
  5. Email are normally backed up in the cloud – Try and log-in to your cloud system to check.
  6. How can my files be lost in the first place. You need to back-up your precious files because you can loose them in various ways.

A list of ways your files can be lost

  • Hard drive failure – Your computers hard drive stores all your programs and files and all hard drives will fail over time and start to wear out – this is why computers sometimes become very slow.
  • Virus or Hackers – Some viruses can scramble or delete your files – this is called a crypto-virus.
  • Physical Damage – Your computer could just stop working
  • Theft – Your computer could be stolen
  • Lighting Strikes – A lightning strike in your region can blow sensitive computer hard-drives
  • Power Spikes – A power surge can cause issues with your hard drive
  • Heat – If you leave your computer on with poor air circulation or a clogged up or damaged fan the hard drive will start to suffer.
  • Fire – A fire will cause catastrophic hard drive failure
  • Accidental deletion

As you can see there are lots of ways that hard drives and data can become damaged. You can also see that it is important to keep any back-ups away from your main computers location.