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Millikan Computer Technologies

Secure Your Data    

And you never know when it will happen; and it does not depend on how “good” your computer is. The least expensive system’s hard drive may last years; the most expensive system’s hard drive may fail in the first month. It really is not a matter of if, but when, your hard drive will fail. So prepare for this eventuality by backing up your data at least once a month.

What should you back up? Anything and everything you could not do without if your computer quit working! But remember, you cannot back up programs, only files (unless you purchase a backup program specifically designed to backup disk, or partition, images). What is the difference? Microsoft Word is the program; you cannot back up Word. But all those documents, letters, reports, etc. that you create using Word are files that you can and absolutely should back up.

How do you back up all your data? Remember that a backup is simply a copy of your data. So, in essence, all you are doing is copying your data on to another memory storage device. That way, if your hard drive fails, the data is stored on that other device: a floppy drive (not a good choice in today’s world), CD’s, DVD’s, Memory Sticks (aka thumb drive, flash drives, etc.) or an external hard drive.

MCT recommends the following options:

  1. Memory Sticks are the choice for data backup. These devices connect to any USB port on your computer. You copy to the Memory Stick the same way you would to any other storage device; you delete from the Memory Stick the same way you would from any other storage device. Prices continue to fall for these products so the value is tremendous.
  1. Most systems today come with either CD or CD/DVD burners. These are excellent devices to use for data storage. Simply insert a CD-R or DVD-R into the drive and copy all that data. Then label the CD or DVD with the date and put the disc in a safe place.

  2. If you have massive amounts of data to backup, you may want to consider an external hard drive. These drives can be anywhere from 100GB to 1000GB (aks a Terrabyte, or TB) or higher. Of course, the larger the capacity, the more expensive the drive. When would you need, or want, this much capacity? If you have lots of photos, videos and/or music on your system, you may be better off backing up to an external hard drive.

One last note on keeping your system and data secure: keep all your original program discs and your backup discs in the same, safe place. And make sure you have the Installation Codes for all your programs. As mentioned above, you cannot back up a program so ensure that all your original program discs and installation codes are safely tucked away – with the data backups in the same place (assuming you did not use an external hard drive for the backup).

And remember, there are no stupid questions! If you have any questions regarding any of the information about securing your system or your data, please contact us! E-mail or phone 847-859-2727. Advice is always free and we love hearing from our customers.

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