The Camtasia Studio video content presented here requires JavaScript to be enabled and the latest version of the Macromedia Flash Player. If you are you using a browser with JavaScript disabled please enable it now. Otherwise, please update your version of the free Flash Player by downloading here.

Spoken Text

Hello, I’m Ben Bond, and this is Backing Up.

Most people have heard that they should “back up”. But what does that mean? Besides the recommendation that we should back up, very little information is shared regarding how to back up. Backing up is important because it allows us to work uninterrupted in our daily workflow if our computer is stolen, has some hardware or software failure, or is destroyed in a natural disaster, such as a fire, flood, or tornado.

We define backing up as “copying important files to a different physical location as frequently as necessary.” Let’s look at this definition closer to better understand it.

First, we copy files, not move them. Moving them from one place to another is not backing up. This is because moving results in having only one copy. We want two copies, in case one is lost, stolen, or damaged.

Second, we copy important files. You do not need to copy everything on your C: drive. You can reinstall Windows and Microsoft Office. You can reinstall any instant messenger applications and other software you install. You do not need to make backup copies of those files. However, the Word and Excel files you create may be important to you. If so, back up these files. Are your pictures and iTunes music important to you? If so, back up these files as well. Essentially, you should back up any file where losing it would make you sad.

Third, we copy important files to a different physical location. You cannot simply copy files from one part of your C: drive to a different part of your C: drive. This is not backing up. You want two different physical locations in case one fails or is lost, stolen, or damaged. If you have two copies on your C: drive (hard drive) and it fails, then you have lost both copies. The same thing occurs if you your computer is stolen. If both copies are on your C: drive, then both copies are gone. Examples of physical location include a website, a USB thumb drive, and an external hard drive. Other options are on the website.

Fourth, we copy important files to a different physical location as frequently as necessary. How often should you backup? The question you should ask is, “If my computer died today, how many days behind can I be?” The answer to the question may vary from file to file. For example, you may not need that picture of your niece and nephew immediately, but you may need the Final Project Report document that is due tomorrow. Therefore, you will want to backup Final Project Report document more regularly than the picture until tomorrow. Once you turn in the Report, you will likely want to back it up once and then never again.

After backing up, it is important to verify that you can access your files that are saved to a different physical location. This ensures that your files were copied correctly to the new location, and that you can fully access the files without any errors or permissions issues.

Let’s quickly review the definition of backing up.

We copy, not move, only the important files to a different physical location, which is somewhere off of your computer, as frequently as necessary. All of these aspects should be taken in to consideration when determining the best way to protect yourself against losing files.

Thank you for watching. I’m Ben Bond, and this has been Backing Up.