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Why you should back up your files

Data is the most important aspect of your computer. The operating system can be reinstalled and so can applications, but it may be difficult or impossible to recreate your original data.

It is essential that you always back up your important information and have a plan for recovering from a system failure. An attacker could crash a computer's operating system or data may be corrupted or wiped out by a hardware problem. Computers can be lost, stolen, or destroyed in a fire or other catastrophe.

You should back up your personal or critical work data on a regular basis. This means copying your files over to a protected system that you can access when those files are needed.

How to back up

There are two main ways of making copies of files and storing them in a safe place. One is through a service offered by IS&T and the other is on your own.

Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM)

IS&T offers and recommends a network backup service called Tivoli Storage Manager. It lets you back up and restore files from/to a secure server on a scheduled basis. The service has several levels and rates. IS&T can make service recommendations based on your particular needs. To learn how to register for this service go to: TSM Backup Service Registration

Personal Backups

Users wishing to perform their own backups (to CD, DVD, or external hard drive) might find the following information helpful:

Microsoft:

Macintosh:

Suggestions for backups

  • Encrypt backups that contain sensitive data
  • Keep extra backups off-site in a secure location (in case of property damage)
  • Verify your backups to make sure files are retrievable
  • Sanitize or destroy your backups (e.g., tapes, CDs) before discarding them