How often do I need to back up the data on my computer?Share & Print
Backing up your data is one of the most important steps you can perform in
practicing safe computing. Unfortunately, this step is often overlooked. If
your computer hard drive malfunctions or if your computer gets compromised by
a virus or hacker, the potential of losing all your data is highly likely. All
your locally stored email, your work or school documents, pictures - anything
of importance to you - is gone in an instant.
To avoid this type of disaster you need to back up your files.
There are a lot of ways to back up your data. Typically, this is done by using
a USB thumb drive or a larger external USB hard drive. There are also many
internet-based services that provide backup services for little or no cost.
For small amounts of data, consider Dropbox or
Computers running Mac OS X have the option to use Time Machine to automatically back up
files. This program still requires the use of an external storage device, but
the backups are integrated into the system and will occur frequently and
Once you determine which way suits you best, begin to make regular backups. A
good practice is to do it once a week. You, though, are the best judge in
determining how often you need to back up your data. If you are updating files
regularly during the week, it would be good to perform a weekly backup. If
there are only occasional changes, then maybe once every two weeks, or once a
month would be more appropriate. The most important thing to keep in mind is
that you need to get in the practice of backing up your data.