Backing up your data is one of the most important actions you can take to protect your information. Backups are extra copies of your data and they give you the ability to recover them in case your information is destroyed due to accidental deletions, hardware malfunction, lost or stolen devices, or infections from malware. If important files are not backed up and an accident happens, your information could be lost forever. On the other hand, if you do back up your information but only sporadically like once a month or once a year, you will lose a month’s or a year’s worth of updates if the files need to be recovered. Therefore when thinking about backups you should ask yourself what should you back up and how often.
What should you back up?
On your personal devices you may wish to back up documents, photos, music, and videos. On work/school devices you will want to back up important documents, reports, and other work/school information.
How often should you back up your information?
There are many intervals to choose from when deciding how often to back up your information. For example, daily, weekly, monthly, etc.
Ways to back up data
There are several ways to perform backups. One is physical storage such as writable CDs and DVDs, USB drives, SD cards, and external hard drives. The other way is through cloud storage options. Some of them you will need to pay for the storage and some provide a limited amount of storage for free. For personal information you may decide to use Dropbox, SugarSync, Mozy, SpiderOak, Carbonite and more. Read the agreements and policies carefully to make sure their security meets your needs.
For work/school related information you will need to use an approved backup solution so contact your IT department. Elon faculty and staff will have the option of using Syncplicity for backups. [View the on-demand presentation for Syncplicity at Elon]
- Automate your backup process if possible so you won’t have to remember to perform a backup. However, periodically check to make sure the backup is working properly.
- If older backups are no longer needed because the information is obsolete, it is recommended to delete the old backups to prevent unauthorized users from accessing them.
- Do not back up your files on the same device as the original files. Store the backups on a different media or in the cloud.
- If you are using physical media for your backups, you may want to consider storing them in a fireproof location.