Whenever a computer subject raises the first thing we hear is “Backup your computer”, however, many people still don’t know what the word means or or how it’s done, let alone why it should be done.

Backup is the process of copying files to a second medium (a disk or tape) as a precaution in case the first medium fails. One of the cardinal rules in using computers is ” back up your files regularly”.

Even the most reliable computer is apt to break down eventually. Many professionals recommend that you make two, or even three, backups of all your files. To be especially safe, you should keep one backup in a different location from the others.

You can back up files manually using operating system commands, however, the more files you have and the more spread out they are across your computer, the more tedious this job will prove to be. Or, you can buy a special-purpose backup utility, such as Genie Backup Manager.

Backup programs automate the backup process so that the user needs only once select what, when, where and how to backup, and the software will take care of safeguarding that data henceforth.

Why Should I Backup?

For starters, check these alarming statistic

* It is estimated that across the world a hard disk crashes every 15 seconds.
* It is estimated by business analysts that 72% of businesses who suffer major data loss disappear within 24 months of the event.
* On average Advisory tries to patch up four corrupted files a week for students and or staff.
* On average the Micros team deals with 3 cases of lost data a month.
* In 1998, 163 organizations reported losing $123.7 million to computer security breaches, or about $759,000 per organization. (1999 CSI/FBI Report)
* Over 300,000 laptops were stolen in 1997, resulting in over $1 billion in losses. According to FBI reports, 1 out of every 14 notebook computers sold in the United States in 1997 was reported missing
* There are over 100,000 known computer viruses. As many as 60% of major US corporations has experienced a virus attack or computer break-in.

Advantages Of backing up

• Keeping your data safe from unexpected natural disasters
Natural disasters are powerful reminders of the strength of Mother Nature and the importance of proper planning. No one understands the severe damage that can be caused by a hurricane, fire or flood until it happens.

• Keeping your data safe from unintentional erasure or from a harmful virus

• Saving money
Can you imagine the amount of money lost when your data is lost!! The growing use of computers has caused many organizations to analyze the potential threats to their information systems.

• Saving Time
Notice the number of hours you worked on that last project, design, or paper for school and ask yourself if you’d like to recreate your work. With today’s busy schedule can you afford the time to create and recreate work? With a small initial investment of time in backing up your critical documents and files, you can create an investment that will continue to pay off in the future.

• Saving Irreplaceable Works
At home, even something as small as the family’s digital photos can be irreplaceable. Think of all those memories lost and unrepeatable events in your life stored in your digital photos. In your office, important financials may be required by law to be stored for future review or audits. How will you tell the IRS that your six year old financials are lost for an upcoming audit? Irreplaceable works are often stored in digital format today. With the potential of this information loss through user error, corrupted software, viruses, worms, hacking, and drive failure, can you risk losing this important information?

• For Peace of Mind
Knowing that you have effective local and online backups brings peace of mind to your computing experience you will sleep well at night knowing that if your data suddenly becomes corrupt, or if your systems crashes, you can simply through an easy restore you can resolve the problem.

• Be prepared against people armed with personal vendettas

* A worker in some company, denied a weekend off, hit a few keys on a computer and knocked out 6 months worth of data.
* One person didn’t get paid for a meeting he attended, so instead of bringing it to payroll’s attention, he put a bug in the computer.
* The most common way to undermine a company is through computers. People can wipe out piles of information or slow down or crash hard drives. Often they can set it up so it happens once they’ve quit the business.”

Finally, the consequences of neglecting to backup:

Take a moment to consider the consequences of you, or your Department, losing data:

* You could lose data that is irreplaceable or would take many hours to re-input
* You could inconvenience many other people
* You could lose your credibility

Remember, he who laughs last has probably made a backup