Friday, November 22, 2013

Are Your Files Backed Up? They should be.



Students, you're working on capstone projects, term papers, research presentations and résumés.  Faculty are polishing research papers, journal articles, book manuscripts and letters of recommendation.  Staff are updating information constantly.  Everyone is working with a lot of data - and it's all important.

Is it all stored in one place?  Along with your pictures, movies and music?  What will you do if that computer gets stolen, dropped, lost or destroyed by a spilled drink (besides curse and cry?) 

Back up your data.  You'll be glad you did.  There are multiple ways to do this:
  • Store copies of your most critical files in your personal webfile.macalester.edu.
  • External hard drives are not expensive.  Buy one.  Use it. Faculty, consult your AIAs for recommendations; staff, call the Help Desk or David Sisk.
  • Flash drives, aka “thumb drives,” are even cheaper.  Buy two.  Use them.
  • Check out 'cloud' storage solutions—some are cheap, some are free (like CrashPlan).  Faculty, your AIAs can help you set up the pay version, CrashPlan Pro, at a nominal cost; staff, consider buying CrashPlan Pro as well.
  • Speaking of cloud storage, back up important files to your Google Drive.  It's there; use it.
  • Consider burning your data to CD or DVD for archiving.  Even if your computer doesn't have an optical drive, many public-access computers do. 
For tips and assistance in backing up your data, please contact the ITS Help Desk at 651-696-6525 or helpdesk@macalester.edu.  Faculty, talk with your AIA.  Play it safe, and you won't be sorry.

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