Tech Tip – Backup – Think of all the data that is on your computer and how valuable it is to you. Pictures, documents, finacials and much much more. Now think about you hard drive failing and losing it all. This can be quite a tradgic event especially if you do not have a back up of your data. Lets explain a few things about where your data is stored. The device on which your precious documents is stored is called a hard drive. This drive is made up of several platters (disks). Heads go back and forth reading data from the drive as it spins. There is the key word “Spins”. The drive, when the computer is on, is spinning. When there are moving parts there is always bound to be failure. Also a drive is only expected to last a certain amount of reolutions before possible failures could happen. This is why backups are essential. There are many backup utilities out on the market both free and paid for. Whether it is the built in software in Windows and Mac or any of the commercial versions you need to pick on. Back up devices – depending on how much you are storing can depend on what you use a the storage device. N.B. do not backup to your drive on the computer. This defeats the purpose! Flash Drives- these are handy little devices. They range from 1gb – 64gb they are great for smaller data files. They also have no moving parts so they are less prone to failure. External Drive – these are the same size as any regular HDD in you PC. These are the perfect device for full computer backups. I would point out they are prone to the same failure as a normal drive. So when the drive is not being used turn it off. This will stop the disk platters from spinning and thus extend the life of the drive. Offsite Backup – This is becoming a very popular method of backing up data. You upload your data to a server located elswhere in the world. At that point if anything happens to your computer you can pull the data back down once you have a network connection. One final thing about the Flash and external drives is to keep them safe. We always think about the computer failing but we also need to consider, not that I wish it upon anyone, a disater such as a fire, flooding or any other event that could damage or prevent you having access to your data. Place the devices when they are not in use in a safe location generally a fire safe or something that would keep the device away from harm. Data is very important and priceless. I have five kids and the pictures we have of them through the ages are very important to me and my wife. It is imperative that I keep those memories safe.