Imagine losing a week’s worth of writing you have done for an essay, or worse, a whole semester’s work.
There has been a huge shift towards computer based means of storing and delivering information. There are many benefits to this, and the main one I can think of is not having to carry around heavy books. For the tech savvy, the convenience of storing all of your photos, homework, music, movies, and work documents in one place is too good to pass up. With this convenience comes a risk: that your laptop or hard drive will break, crash, be stolen, or misplaced and you could lose everything. Even losing a few days’ worth of university work can be a huge setback.
Like with your health, prevention is better than cure. When it comes to backing up files there are several different preventative measures you can take. Each option has its benefits and pitfalls.
The easiest backup option is to copy and paste your files to a separate location. If you keep your files on your computer, you may copy the folder(s) containing your files to an external hard drive or memory stick. The pitfall with this manual method is that you may forget to backup your files regularly. Luckily there are some convenient applications that will do this for you.
A quick google search for backup software will return a plethora of options. I have tried some of the software and have found FBackup to be my favourite. FBackup allows you to select a single folder or multiple folders to backup. You can choose when and where these folders back up, and you can also choose how often. For example, I have set my desktop and my university folder to back up every week to a memory stick on Thursday at 10pm. When I get home I plug in a memory stick, put my laptop on charge, and the backup happens overnight. If I forget to plug in a memory stick, the software will remind me, and the backup will run the next day as usual.
Most operating systems come with their own backup options. Whether you’re a Mac or Windows person, both have solid backup options. Both work in a similar fashion: choose a folder to backup, and a location to back it up to.
Whether you choose to backup manually, or use custom or inbuilt software, my advice is to do it regularly.