Byte Me Article 335 – Data Backup

9th September 2017

Don’t Overlook the Backup

Technical systems such as IT will always have myths and urban legends surrounding its use so today we should look at one of the most important aspects of IT and discuss some of the misconceptions.  To have a copy or “backup” of user data is a hot topic and something that should never be overlooked.  We get to hear and see firsthand the sad results of some of these misconceptions and in many cases there is nothing that can be done to recover the data.

Just to be perfectly clear about what constitutes user data.  If you transfer a photo to your computer, if you send or receive an important email, if you type up a document or spreadsheet or if you are using a database such as an accounting package then you are creating user data.  The value of this data is not unlike beauty being in the eye of the beholder – some will value it more than others.

What we find quite mystifying at times is that so many people tell us that their user data is not important and as a result they don’t need a backup of it.  If this were the case then why are they collecting it in the first place?  Why bother creating a collection of photos or files if you don’t want them?

When they are purchasing a new PC, we often say to the same people, “well in that case you wouldn’t want any of your old data transferred to the new PC”.  Most of them look at me as though I am weird and tell me, “no we need all of that”!  As a result, we often transfer huge amounts of user data to a new PC and the customer still walks out the door without a backup system.

Computers are a machine and where the data is stored on a computer is on a component that can fail.  Putting data onto a PC is not akin to chiselling it into stone and there is every likelihood that this data will not be accessible on that same component in 10 years’ time.  Even if a computer hard drive were infallible there is still the chance of accidental deletion or viruses that can wipe out your data.

To safeguard our data the best thing is to have a copy of all your important files on another file storage device.  This is what we refer to as a ‘backup’ copy and the good news is that computers are designed to do this file copy process.  You do not have to type the document again or take the same photo twice.

If you have a recent and complete copy of all your important files on a backup device then the chances of losing all your data is near eliminated.  We sell and setup lots of backup systems to suit both personal and business and the best ones are not only simple and quick to use but their success can be verified in just a few clicks.

This is the next pitfall of safeguarding your data.  Many people go out and buy a “backup drive” but when they get it home the complexities and time frames associated with its use are mind boggling.  We also very often see customers that have setup their own backup system that they spend time using every week and yet sometimes it is not even working.

Next week we shall look at several simple backup systems and discuss their use. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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