Friday, January 4, 2013

Resolution #2 - Backup Your Computer

While making New Year's resolutions, consider the health of your computer. Use some of your time off to backup your computer files.  Unless you are backing up your entire computer (which is wise and will be discussed below), you will need to know where your data is located.  A smart way to make sure that you don't forget anything is to always save documents and files under the My Documents or My Pictures or My Videos directories on your computer.  Don't save important items to the desktop or anything else.  Some applications, however, automatically save your data to another location, so be careful of that.  For instance, if you use Outlook as your email client, you can change the settings so that it will your outlook.pst file in My Documents (make called email or Outlook) instead . Programs like Quickbooks can also be configured to save your data wherever you want.
If you don't have much data, you can simply backup your data onto a USB flash drive.  Be sure to store your data in a safe place, like a fireproof safe. 

If you have a lot of data or you don't want to risk losing program files on your computer, consider using an online backup program.  IntegriTivity uses Carbonite, which is currently $59/year.  This is only slightly more than purchasing enough USB jump drives to hold all the data and also offers the peace of mind that comes with knowing that it's taken care of automatically.  Carbonite can be set to backup changed files when you don't use your computer.  There are limits to how many computers can be backed up on the basic plan, but if you have a home network, you can make a practice of saving all your data on to one computer and have those files backed up to Carbonite or whatever "cloud" company you choose.
The advantage of an automatic backup of your computer is that it will actually happen.  The new year is a great reminder to get it taken care of, but you should be backing up your data more than once per year!  And do you really remember to change the batteries in your smoke detector and the filter on your furnace?  If not, seriously consider making your computer backups automatic.

If you have a website designed by IntegriTivity, rest assured that your website is doubly backed up. One copy is the live website on the Internet itself and one is the development copy of your files that IntegriTivity has backed up nightly.
If you don't have a website by IntegriTivity, check out our work from  IntegriTivity specializes in web design and search engine optimization and marketing but also offers a variety of other computer solutions.

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