Backups – Protect your data
November 1, 2011 | By Damon Armour, IT Security Officer, contributing writer
Have you ever started your day by turning on your computer and nothing comes up? The shock sets in as you realize your financial information, your emails, and worst of all: your personal photos are on that computer. Did you remember to do a backup recently? Or, are you doing a backup at all?
Protecting our data is as important at work as it is at home. Ensuring our information is available during downtime is vital to business operations and personal stability. Backing up the data should be a continued activity to prepare for those unfortunate moments when a storage media is damaged or unreadable.
At Augusta State University, ITS offers each department network storage space. This network storage can be used to share files within the department. Along with the departmental storage, each individual receives a “Home” directory that is mapped as drive letter Z. The “Home” directory is an individual’s personal network storage location. The departmental and “Home” directories are backed up nightly by ITS both on and off-site.
Another option for campus personnel is to utilize a local backup software package such as, Cobian Backup. This software can backup folders located on your local computer to another storage medium, such as an external hard drive or the individual’s “Home” directory. The key to using backup software locally is to ensure that it is running a backup on a regular basis. Most backup software allows you to schedule the backup jobs.
At home, the option of using backup software is also a good choice. If you have an external hard drive available, have the software back up frequently used storage locations, such as My Documents, Desktop, etc. There has been increased awareness in using “the cloud.” An individual’s backups can also live online in the cloud. Some common providers in this area are Carbonite, Dropbox, JungleDisk, Mozy, and SugarSync. Many of these options allow for you to run client software on your computer that will automatically sync your important files to a remote location.
One advantage of online backups is that if your computer is destroyed, you will be able to retrieve your data. With any online backup solution, be sure to review the providers’ privacy and security standards. Make sure that the data will continue to be owned by you and that security is in place to protect your data during transmission and storage at their facilities.
Protect the availability of your data by ensuring that data backups are taking place on a consistent basis. Use good practices at work and at home to ensure that even during a “disaster” you are able to get back up to normal in a reduced amount of time. Especially at home, use more than one method to back up your data. Have an external hard drive available, but also utilize an online backup solution. Shop for the best features and security to meet your needs.
• Carbonite takes the worry out of backup – by securely and automatically backing up your files to one of our state-of-the-art data centers, where they become your Carbonite Personal Cloud.
• Dropbox is a free service that lets you bring all your photos, docs, and videos anywhere. This means that any file you save to your Dropbox will automatically save to all your computers, phones and even the Dropbox website.
• Easy-to-use, automatic online backups, storage, and real-time sync between one or more computers.
• Mozy offers a number of backup solutions to fit your individual needs. For non-commercial backup of your personal files, including music, photos, home videos, and personal tax records, check out the simplicity of MozyHome.
• SugarSync makes it easy to backup, share and access your files, anytime, anywhere. With SugarSync you get online cloud storage for all your files — documents, music, photos, and video.