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Why You Should Backup Your Data

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This is one of the most important recommendations Paso Robles Tech can pass along to our clients. However, we find it is one of the most neglected areas of computing. Backing up your data should be at the top of everyone’s to-do list, right next to virus protection. We don’t have too many “must do” items, but backing up your data is absolutely one of them. Without data backup, we run the risk of losing years of valuable pictures, music, documents and other data.

Data loss can happen in many ways. One of the most common causes is physical failure of the media the data is stored on. You probably have everything saved on your PCs hard drive. That hard drive will not last forever. Yes, normally hard drives will live for years without incident. But because most drives have mechanical (moving parts), eventually they crash. It might happen gradually, or it might happen very quickly with little to no warning.

Also worth mentioning is data loss through virus attacks. There are plenty of nasty computer viruses out there that will delete files on an infected machine. That’s why virus protection is just as important as a good data backup routine.

What data should you back up?

You might think that you probably don’t really have anything worth backing up. That is rarely the case, however. Let’s go through just a few items to jog your memory.

Let’s start with your favorite places on the Internet and that long list of bookmarks. How about the e-mail addresses from all your friends? That would take a long time to accumulate those again. What about that to-do list you wrote? Or about that nice pictures somebody e-mailed you and that you saved? Maybe you have a document for work, like a presentation or a spreadsheet that you created at home and don’t have a copy on your work PC? Think about that saved game that it took you weeks, months or even years to get to a particular level. These are just the most common examples, and I know that after thinking about it for a while you might realize that there is a lot of information you don’t want to lose. That’s why you should back up your data.

Paso Robles Tech recommends these possible solutions:

Online Backup: Mozy.com, Carbonite.com or BackBlaze.com. Online backup is great if you have a high-speed Internet connection. This backup is best if you are concerned with theft of computer equipment or catastrophic events, such as a fire or a flood.

Local Backup: Windows Backup or a backup solution that comes with an external hard drive. Seagate and Western Digital offer excellent drives at reasonable prices. Even manually copying your valuable data to a thumb drive is better than nothing at all. Disk imaging software such as Acronis is an option if you would like a full disk image – a complete copy of your hard drive.

Note: Disk imaging vs. data backup will be discussed in a future blog post.
Thanks for reading!
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