This section is incomplete and under construction …
Where to backup?
You can backup onto things you connect to or insert in your computer: CDs, DVDs, USB/memory sticks, external hard drives
If you are on a network (in an office environment) backups of shared drives (the ‘Server’) may be being done for you automatically
You can also backup to the Cloud or Internet
Types of backups
Full (everything gets backed up) vs Incremental (only files that have been edited since the last backup)
Scheduled (every afternoon or every Friday etc) vs On Demand (when you initiate one)
Whole computer vs Selected folders
What to backup
Backup programs will allow you to choose which folders to backup and which to exclude (another good reason for good file management)
You’lll mostly want to backup your personal documents: e.g. Word and Excel files, photos, videos
Things that often get overlooked and that may help if you ever need to ‘start all over again’:
- Program settings: Word templates (if you use them), email account/connection settings
- Shortcuts: on the desktop, in Favorites
How often to backup?
There is no strict rule. Each of us need to balance:
- How much work do I do each day? [more work = more often]
- How much does taking a backup impact me (time, effort, as well as peace of mind!)? [easier = more often]
- How important are the files? What would the impact be if I lost them? [more important = more often]
Things to consider
Don’t just keep one backup
- Monday 10th: you backup your files
- Monday 17th: you replace these with the new set of files
- Tuesday 18th: you realise that a file went missing on Friday 14th. So it was there in the backup on the 10th, but this was overwritten by the one on the 17th which doesn’t have it.
So keep a set of backups: e.g.
Test it actually works
- Create a test file (using Word or Excel)
- Let your backup process do its work
- Then simulate the “disaster waiting to happen” … and delete the file
- Now go to your backup and see if you can get it back (‘restore’ it)
Be careful when you restore
Make sure you don’t overwrite any up to date files with an old version