COLUMN: The importance of backing up your computer

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If you are like most of us, you procrastinate. Whether it be buying a birthday card, a Christmas gift or even backing up your computer, you always wait till the last minute and then, something happens.

It is inevitable that something will happen when we procrastinate on the PC backup and in the back of our minds, we know this. So, why do we do it? I wish I knew.

I would be lying if I told you I have never been caught out. I have. Lesson learned.

When your hard drive fails, the chance you will get your files back is marginal. When I say files, I mean anything from important documents, pictures you treasure, videos, music collections, etc. So, where do we go from here? There are many ways to back up your computers. Depending on the amount of data you have to back up will give you more of a clue as to what storage you will need. Storage media can be anything from a CD/DVD, memory stick, external hard drive, or cloud storage. The sky is literally the limit. 

When you back up your computer, don’t just back it up once, do it twice. Sometimes our back up devices fail too. But, if you back up twice, once to a USB pen, per say, and once to a DVD or cloud back up, this reduces your likelihood of losing your data.

It is prudent to back up as often as you can. We are constantly adding things to our computers.

How often do we plug in our phones and upload the latest photos of friends and family? When you add things to your computer, make a habit of doing a backup immediately. This will cut down considerably on frustration, data loss and/or data recovery bills.

Most people think that backing up your computer is a hard thing to do. It’s not. If you can copy and paste, you can back up your computer. The things that can be backed up are documents, photos, favourites, music, videos, your desktop, contacts, basically, anything under your user profile. What cannot be backed up are programs, games and things of the nature, so always keep your disks.

If you are not sure how to back up your computer, take it to a specialist who will take the time to show you exactly what to do, or do it for you. Most IT specialists will be more than happy to help, so don’t be shy about asking questions or for help. Some specialists may charge a small fee to back up your computer depending on the amount of data, so before agreeing to anything, ask for a quote upfront to avoid any billing surprises.

• Chips Computers, Chesterfield - http://www.wefixanycomputer.com/