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How Do I Backup Data on My PC?

If there's one reason most people don't backup their computer data, it's because they claim they don't know how. However, with more and more backup software available, backing up your important computer data has never been easier or faster.

In fact, many personal computers make it even more convenient for you, by having free data backup software that is included with your operating system. With this type of software, all you need to do is select the folders on your computer that you would like to backup, and it will do it automatically at predetermined times.

On the other hand, backup software can be purchased externally. These programs generally work by automatically backing up all files changed after a certain date - or you can copy selected files to a backup folder.

Other types of data, such as emails, are not as easy to backup. The most common way to backup email data is by exporting important messages into files, which can then be backed up.

How Often Should I Backup My Data?
As a general rule, people who use their computer occasionally (5 hours/week or less) should be backing up their data on at least a weekly basis. If you use your computer more frequently, however (more than 10 hours/week), doing it daily is probably a good idea. Another variable is the type of data you store on your computer. Obviously, the important it is to you, the more important backing it up becomes.

Tips for Data Backup

  • There are many ways to backup data on your computer - the least effective of which (for obvious reasons) is having the only backup location on your actual hard drive. Instead, use external hardware such as a disk, CD, zip drive, or memory stick.

     

  • Online backup is another option. This requires the use of an Internet-based data backup storage service.

     

  • If space on your computer is limited, be selective with the data you choose to backup. For example, you may choose to only backup personal data. As a general rule, there's no need to backup entire programs, as in the event that they are deleted, you can simply reinstall them with original software. For this reason, it's important to keep a copy of your operating system on hand.

All in all, computer data backup doesn't have to be a complex and painful process. In fact, although it may seem more time consuming now, just imagine the time it will take to get all your important data back - or worse, have to start from scratch - in the event that all of it is deleted.

 

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