What is a backup?
A backup is simply a copy of your important data, in case the original is lost.
Why is it important?
Let’s imagine that your computer was stolen, or suffered a catastrophic hard disk failure that meant it was impossible to read any of the data on it. Where would you be without your emails, addresses, Word documents and spreadsheets? Most people would be in a mess.
How can I make a backup?
In theory, backing up is as simple as copying whatever you want to save to a flash drive, external hard drive, or CD-ROM. Whatever you use to back up to, make sure that you keep the device as far away as possible from the computer once you’ve done the backup. If you back up to a flash drive, and leave the flash drive in the computer, and the computer is stolen, then the backup will be stolen with it. The optimal place to keep your backup device would be a fire safe in a locked cellar. Remember that to minimise the amount of time and effort required to do a backup, it’s a very good idea to go through your documents etc and delete any duplicates, and separate essential things that must be backed up from things that are not of critical importance.
Isn’t there an easier way?
The easiest and most effective way to back up your data is to use an online backup service. This copies your vital data to a secure server over the Internet at regular intervals. It is something you can set up and then forget about, and whatever happens to the original data or any of your own computer equipment, you know there's always a copy of your documents, pictures or whatever stored safely for you. We suggest you contact a computer professional for advice on choosing and installing an online backup service.