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1 – Backing up data

How much do you value your data? You should reg­u­larly back them up onto at least one second medium, and always check that your data have actu­ally been backed up, too.

The most impor­tant points to remember:

  • Reg­u­larly back up your data to an external hard drive, DVD, CD, or online to Cloud storage.
  • Check all your data are included in your back-up, and that they can be restored prop­erly.
  • You should only con­nect your external back-up hard drive when you are actu­ally using it. Don’t keep your online storage device for your back-up per­ma­nently linked either, but only when you are run­ning a back-up.

These days, large amounts of text doc­u­ments, e-mails, photos, videos, music and more are stored on com­puters, tablets and smart­phones in the shape of dig­ital data.

You cannot com­pletely rule out that these data are partly or even wholly destroyed or deleted by some kind of misuse (e. g. acci­dental dele­tion); due to tech­nical faults (e. g. a defec­tive hard drive); because a device is lost or stolen; or due to viruses, worms and Tro­jans.

How to pro­ceed

One simple solu­tion for backing up the data on your com­puter is to create a copy - a so-called back-up - on an external hard drive. To do so, you copy your files from your own device to an external data car­rier, either man­u­ally or with the help of spe­cial soft­ware. Once the back-up has fin­ished, it is vital to dis­con­nect the external hard drive from your device, so your back-up data are pro­tected from viruses, worms and other mal­ware.

For home use, it is usu­ally suf­fi­cient to create a back-up every few weeks or so. With smaller data vol­umes, you can use either writable CDs or DVDs, too. For huge data vol­umes though, the cre­ation of a back-up copy is quite com­plex - this is where spe­cial back-up soft­ware can help.

Keep your data car­rier con­taining your back-up sep­a­rately from your device and also in a dif­ferent loca­tion, if pos­sible. Please remember that in case of fire or a break-in, back-up data car­riers could also get lost or stolen.

With the “File His­tory” option under Win­dows 10, you have con­ve­nient back-up fea­tures installed as stan­dard avail­able to you: Microsoft instruc­tions

Another good option for storing your data is offered by cloud storage. This means your data are cen­trally stored on the Internet. Fur­ther infor­ma­tion on this can be found in our article on “Cloud storage“.

In case you no longer need a device or back-up hard drive and you dis­pose of or sell it, you should make sure to erase all data it con­tains in a secure manner. Fur­ther infor­ma­tion on this issue can be found in our article on “Secure dele­tion”.

Pro­tect your data and all your devices with the help of our “5 steps for your dig­ital secu­rity”:

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