What is a Backup?

A backup simply means making one or more copies of your data.

For example, if you have a folder of photos stored on the hard-drive of your laptop, you might back them up by copying them to a CD-R.
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Note: If you move the photos from the hard-drive to a CD-R, you do not have a back-up – you still only have one copy of the photos, but now they are on a CD instead of the hard-drive.

You only have a backup if you have a second copy of your data.

Why Backup Your Data?

If you delete a file by accident, your computer breaks, your laptop is stolen, or your business burns to the ground, having a backup copy means that you have not lost your precious data. You can recover your lost files and continue working.
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Most businesses use computers to store very important data (customer records, financial information, designs for products, etc.) If this data is lost, the business could possibly have to close. Backing-up business data is essential.
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How Are Backups Created?

Personal backups of the data on your hard-drive can be made by…
  • Burning files to a CD-R
  • Copying files to an external hard-drive
  • Copying the files to another computer on a network
Businesses backup essential data by…
  • Making copies of data very regularly
  • Using large-capacity media such as magnetic tape
  • Keeping old copies of backups, just in case
  • Automating the system so that nobody forgets to do it!
  • Keeping backup media off-site (in case of fire or theft)
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