Thursday, 21st November 2019
Computers & The Internet Article
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This Month's Magazine
Computers & Data loss

Computers & Data loss

We use our computers to create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, images and websites. We also use it to check our emails, update our address books and save some of our most important documents. Unfortunately, most of us take the computer for granted

Can you imagine going to work one day and finding your trustworthy computer not working?!! Backing up files is different to saving files.  Back up is the process of creating duplicate data. A back up copy of your folders is not entirely secure unless it is properly stored. Saving a file keeps it on your computer for future use or reference.

Regular computer back ups help prevent the panic related to data loss nightmares. These steps should help you decide which files you need to back up and when:

  1. Choose files to backup that are irreplaceable, time-consuming to recreate or that are critically important such as bank statements, password documents etc. You do not need to backup entire programs such as Microsoft Word. If you have the installation disk safe, you will be able to reinstall your programs. 
  2. Now ask yourself how you would feel if your computer broke down today or yesterday or last week or last month. Would you be able to continue working? If not, then that's how often you need to backup your documents.
    Once you know what files to backup and when, you can choose from different backup methods.

Data loss can occur for reasons such as:

  1. Your PC develops a genuine hardware or software fault that cannot be rectified.
  2. You get a virus on your PC that deletes some critical data.
  3. Your PC gets lost or stolen.
  4. Your PC crashes.


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CD ROMs. Blank CDs are not very expensive and are simple to use for back ups. I personally prefer the re-writable ones because you are not wasting CDs with every back up. You can just overwrite the old back up with the most recent one.

DVDs are very convenient for back up as well. They are more expensive than CDs but you can copy a large amount of data to a DVD. CDs and DVDs are vulnerable to scratches, so take care and make two back up copies if necessary. You can also get DVD-Recordable (DVD-R) and DVD-Rewritable (DVD-RW) drives. Most computers these days come with the DVD-R and DVD-RW drives built in.

Network Server. Many companies have an automated back up set up for all the computers in the office. The files are stored to a central server at regular intervals and the consolidated back up is then saved to a removable back up disk.

External Hard Drive I find this option very useful for small businesses and self-employed professionals. You can buy an external hard drive for under £50.00, connect it to your computer and back up your files on it. But you must remember to take it to a safe place, away from your computer to protect the data. Some people take the external back up drive home from work every Friday.

Tape Drives. I used to work at an organisation where tape drives were used for back up. They are cassette-type cartridges that are tried and tested. They are fast and versatile. Storage capacities for these start at 1GB, and go beyond 60 GB. However, the tapes can wear out eventually.

Zip Drives. Not many people use Zip drives these days as CDs are a more convenient option. Zip disks are sturdier than  CD ROMs but relatively expensive when compared to CD ROMs. Zip disks are good for moving stuff around rather than storage.

Online Backup. There are also various online backup solutions available. You can purchase an amount of space for a price.
See www.backupdirect.net/about.htm and www.clunkclick.net/ (Both Websites offer free     trials).



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