Who Should Back up their Files?

Who should back up their files? Every single person who creates data, and relies on his home computer to keep it safe.

Computer users have been creating data for years, leaving it stored on their hard drives in the belief that it will always be there. As a safety net, they may have eventually got around to backing their files up to a CD, a USB, or an external hard drive, which they would keep in a safe place.  That was the idea, but it wasn’t fool proof because people would forget to back up, or they would lose the portable device, so another way to protect files was needed. In recent years, the possibility of online backup and storage has become a reality, and the concept has found many willing users.

Why Should Files be Backed up?

Files should be backed up for the simple reason that they can be so easily lost forever. Keeping data on a computer or portable device such as a CD, or USB, is fine as long as the safety of one or the other can be guaranteed, but in reality that is not the case.  The computer is so vulnerable to all sorts of risks; it can crash, become infected with a virus, be stolen, lost, or accidentally damaged, or a user can absent-mindedly delete data that he wanted to keep. The risks can cause data to be lost forever, with devastating consequences.

The personal user

The data that many personal computer users create will include simple letters and documents to family photos and videos, personal music collections, and other items that will be of enormous value to the user, if not to anyone else. Losing a collection of wedding photos or family videos that can’t ever be replaced would be a disaster, so backing them up to storage in a remote location is the perfect way to keep them safe.

Personal computer users use their machines for all sorts of reasons; the student for writing up his dissertations, the author for adding thousands of words to his novel every day, the amateur photographer who wants to keep his work safe, and the artist who needs to keep records of one-off pieces of work – the list is endless. The family computer today is used not just for playing games or accessing the social network; it has become the engine room of the household. Every family member will use it for a variety of reasons, and every day precious data will be added to it.

The Club

Many clubs exist today, in every country in the world; they include sports clubs, youth clubs, Church clubs, playgroups, and many more.  Years ago their records would have been kept using pen and paper, but today the computer makes running a club from an administration point of view easy. Losing files that include lists of club members, subscriptions paid, awards won, and photos of the important events that form its ongoing history, will be a great loss, and something from which it would be difficult to recover.

The Store

The store, whether online or in the High Street, needs to keep impeccable records; it has to keep an eye on stock levels, deliveries, staff members and all the data that is created on their behalf, sales and purchases, write-ups and photos of products, profit and loss records, legal documents, and all manner of paperwork for tax purposes. Data loss for a store could be so traumatic it may have no alternative but to cease trading.

The Business

Businesses come in all shapes and sizes, from the smallest one-man office to the biggest global conglomerate. What they all have in common is the need to keep data, their own and their clients’, safe, secure, and accessible. In the case of legal documents, the need for remote storage is of paramount importance. Many businesses that lost data in the past found it impossible to keep going.  Losing data, especially that belonging to clients who have entrusted it to them, can cost businesses hundreds and thousands, if not millions, of pounds, and can cause endless problems for everyone concerned.

The computer has become an essential part of domestic and commercial life, and online backup services that store the wealth of data produced every day have become just as important. Today, for society to operate efficiently, it cannot have one without the other.

License: Creative Commons image source

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