Backup your data!

No backup is bad

Most people who own a computer tend to store a multitude of important information on its hard drive disk. It could be things like precious wedding, vacation, or other treasured family photos, your music, your documents, spreadsheets and presentations, or your personal correspondence, just to name a few.

The problem is that many people accumulate this critical (and in many cases irreplaceable) data without a second thought about making regular backup copies of it. It is a sad but unfortunate reality about computer disks that it is not “if” they will fail, but rather, “when” they will fail! So many things (such as hardware malfunction, computer viruses, fire, flood, theft) can happen as part of daily life, making your computer data so very vulnerable to any one of these or other disasters.

The answer to this dilemma is to make proper (and regular) backup copies of your data. There are a variety of backup methods available to make copies of your data onto other media, such as external hard drives, USB drives (also known as a USB key or stick), CDs/DVDs, or the “cloud”, but many people lack the technical knowledge and/or the discipline to protect their valuable data on a regular basis.

One easy to-use-method of computer backup that I have used is called ClickFree: http://www.clickfree.com/

This device can be used by the full range of computer users from the complete novice up to the technical savvy expert alike, by doing nothing more than plugging it into a USB port on their computer. As its name implies, this device has the “smarts” built into it to backup your data without any human intervention. “It is easier than making toast” as one of their earlier advertisements boasted! The ClickFree device does cost a few dollars, but when you think of how valuable the data on your computer might be to you, it may seem very reasonably priced for your peace of mind.

Although somewhat dated, this promotional video illustrates just how simple it is to use the ClickFree device: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6e8HeZEUQ2I

The backup story does not end here though… Backups must be done regularly and the backup copy should be securely stored at an “offsite location” away from the computer itself. This could mean taking the backup copy to work or entrusting it to a family member or friend far away from your computer. After all, what good is the backup copy of your data if it becomes destroyed or stolen along with your computer!

PS – I do not work for ClickFree and do not have any affiliation with them, but rather, I simply believe that they have built an excellent and useful product for the masses. Enjoy! 🙂

– David Spearns (ETAG Volunteer Technology Tutor)

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