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PC Security: Data Backup

Data Backups - Why Bother? Computers have become a vital part of our lives. We use computers at school, work, for entertainment, for information, for communication, and much more. Computer users everywhere have two main fears: the fear of being hacked or getting a virus, and the fear of equipment failure or hacks that may cause a loss of vital information. This is why we should often back up our important files.

Many average users assume that backups are only needed by large corporations and such. This isn't true at all. Think of all of the emails that you have on your system? Many of those emails will contain information that is very important to you. There are also documents that are important to you, as well as photos. Really think about what losing everything on your system would mean to you.

What about your music collections and software that you have purchased and downloaded over time? All of this will be lost as well. Your stored information will be lost, such as passwords. Some of this is disastrous, and even expensive to replace, while the rest of it is simply annoying. All of it will cost you valuable time however.

Data can be lost through a variety of ways. It could be accidentally deleted. It could be wiped out with hardware failure. The location where your computer is could flood or catch fire. A power surge could damage your hard drive or memory. You could get a virus. You could even accidentally spill a cup of coffee on your computer, which then seeps inside the case to the vital components. No matter what happens, once the data is lost, the only sure way to recover it is if you have backed it up onto disks such as CDs, DVDs, or a removable hard drive. You may even have it stored online at a file storage site.

First note that everything does not have to be backed up. Backing data up takes a little time, and it of course requires space - either on a disk or online. Obviously, you would not want to waste that space backing up that which you can easily recover. For example, you should have a disk that contains your operating system, and therefore, backing up those operating system files is not necessary.

When selecting files to backup, concentrate on email, documents that you have received or created, photos, and software that you have purchased and downloaded. You should have a list of your usernames and passwords, as well as the websites that these go to backed up on a disk, however it is not wise to keep such a document on your hard drive. Music takes up a lot of space, and can easily be re-downloaded or re-uploaded to your system. However, if it is important to you, you might want to make a list of your collection.

You can perform a backup in countless ways. First, you can use backup software. Most operating systems now include backup software. This software is usually very easy to use, and backups can be scheduled. You could also use software that burns information onto disks, and select the files that you want to backup manually. Finally, you could upload the files that you wish to backup to an online file service, or to a removable hard drive. The method that you choose will be determined by whatever works easiest for you, as well as how often and how much data must be backed up.

If you back up your data often, you will do well to invest in backup software that will only backup documents and such that have changed since your last backup. However, such software does not usually locate and backup new files. Those new files must be added to the backup que first.

Backing up email is generally quite a bit harder than backing up normal files. Some email clients require special software to export the files and create a backup file, such as Microsoft Outlook. The file that is created must then be backed up to a disk, uploaded to a file server, or put over onto a removable drive by the user.

  PC Security: Index
  PC Security: Internet Browsers
  PC Security: Spam
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 1
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 2
  PC Security: Spam Scams
  PC Security: Email Security and Spam
  PC Security: Email Security
  PC Security: Computer Viruses
  PC Security: Protecting Computers From Viruses
  PC Security: Worm Viruses
  PC Security: Trojan Horse Viruses
  PC Security: Rootkits
  PC Security: Removing a Virus
  PC Security: Virus Hoaxes
  PC Security: Server Viruses
  PC Security: Home Network
  PC Security: Cell Phone Viruses
  PC Security: Spyware
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 1
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 2
  PC Security: Parental Control Software
  PC Security: Malware - Spyware and Adware
  PC Security: Data Backups
  PC Security: Pop Up Windows
  PC Security: Safe Public Computer Use

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