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World Backup Day, March 31, is an independent initiative to raise awareness about the importance of regular backups for critical documents and vital information on people’s technology devices.

Many people falsely think their documents are safe because they are saved on the computer’s hard drive, but the best way to avoid potential loss of personal and sensitive information is to back it up.

Carolina’s ITS Security Office recommends making sure this information is in a safe location in the event of theft, loss, natural disaster, damage or a system failure. Backing up files means making a copy of them and placing the backup in a secure location. This applies to laptops and desktop computers, tablets, iPods, cell phones and photos and videos on social media sites.

The safest way to protect sensitive and confidential documents is to encrypt the documents or folder first.

  • Cloud backup for personal documents, files, photos and videos: This is similar to an offsite backup; you can install an app on your computer to instantly and automatically copy your files to the cloud. This option makes multiple copies of your files at various locations around the world. Remember that the security of the data is only as strong as your password. ITS Security recommends checking the storage location and the automated program (if you are using one) periodically to ensure that everything is working properly.
  • Local backup: Copy your most important files onto an external hard drive or USB flash drive. This can be disconnected and stored in a secure location such as a locked office. Use “Time Machine” backup on Apple computers, and “Backup and Restore” on Windows computers.
  • NAS – Network Attached Storage (for full-time Carolina faculty and staff who need to store various types of non-confidential University information): The University provides a network file share.

Contact the Help Desk for assistance and answers to questions. For additional information and support options.

By Katrina Dix, Information Technology Services.

March 31, 2014.