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Computer & Data Backup – What to Know

Backing up your PC is your best protection from hard drive failure or if you are victim of ransomware.  There are a plethora of other technical and human error catastrophes that can leave one devastated if a good backup routine is not practiced.

What to Back Up

Key Items Nobody Wants to Lose

  • Email
  • Pictures
  • Documents
  • Videos

Other items to consider

  • Drivers
  • Personal Browser Settings and Bookmarks

There are many options out there for backing up and safekeeping your data.  Two main ones are using a physical device such as an external hard drive or using an online storage service.  Online storage services, are also referred to as “Cloud Storage” or the “The Cloud”.

Pros and Cons External Hard Disk Backup


  • Separate from your computer system
  • Easy to install
  • Portable


  • Expensive – Some models are under $100 but the more storage required the more costly the hard drive.
  • Susceptible to damage – Can be dropped or environmental damage
  • Security – External hard drives can be stolen. Encrypting your external drive helps protect your personal information in case of theft or loss of the drive

Pros and Cons of Cloud Storage


  • Depending on your requirements it is cheaper with plenty of free services to choose from
  • Files are accessible from anywhere
  • Ease of use – Most software will back up in real-time or can be scheduled to do so daily, weekly or monthly


  • Outages – If the company’s cloud servers are offline access to your stored data is not possible until servers are back online
  • Large Files and internet speed – Even on some of the faster internet packages backing up or restoring an entire PC over the internet could take multiple days
  • Privacy – Your personal and confidential files are stored in remote locations. Acceptable to hackers – strong passwords are a must to secure your account
  • Potentially accessible by hackers – strong passwords are a must to secure your account.

Article Submitted by Guest Blogger and Kawartha Chamber Member:

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