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