Cyber-Safety Basics: Back up Important Files

Cyber-Safety Basics: Back up Important Files

Back up Important Files

Why should you back up important files? Because:

If you don't back up your data, you risk losing it to a virus, computer crash, accidental keystroke, theft, or external disaster.


To back up your files:

  • Copy critical and essential files daily. Copy non-critical files weekly or monthly.
  • Copy files to a CD, flash drive, USB key, an external hard drive or online backup service (for a small monthly fee), or to a server provided by your ISP or a commercial vendor. Some companies offer automatic backups when you buy their programs.
  • Before using an online backup service, review 10 Questions You Should Ask Before Using an Online Data Backup Service.
  • Keep all your critical files in one place, so you can easily create a duplicate copy.
  • Store your backup media in a secure place away from your computer, in case of fire or theft.
  • Each month, test the capability to restore from the backup media. To ensure that your backup files are reliable, simply upload the files from the backup media to your computer.
  • On campus: Check with your department's Technical Support Coordinator (TSC) to find out if he or she runs regular backups of departmental computers.