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Backing Up Your Information


March 31st is World Backup Day, a day to remind us to make sure our important information is protected. We’ve covered basic cybersecurity and next steps if you’re a victim of an online scam on the blog, and today we’re going to look into why backing up data is important and the necessary steps to take.  


Why do I need to back up my data? 


What type of files should I make sure to back up? 

  • Contacts  
  • Photos/videos 
  • Legal documents 
  • Other important documents 


Backing up your computer 

  • Mac via Apple  
  • Windows/PC via Microsoft  
  • Using a flash drive/thumb drive 
    • Flash drives (also called “thumb drives”) are small, portable hard drives the size of your thumb that can be inserted into your computer’s USB drive. 
    • How to Back Up Data to a USB Flash Drive via the University of Delaware. 
  • Using a CD/DVD 
    • Much like using a thumb drive, you can burn important files to a data CD/DVD (depending on how much space you need) by putting a blank disc in your computer’s disc drive and using software to create a data disc.  
    • While this is an easy backup method, it’s complicated by the lack of disc drives in most newer computers. 
  • Using an external hard drive 
  • Paper copies 
    • This is one of the easiest ways to create extra copies, especially since most libraries offer printing services for a small fee. Make sure you have a binder, file folder, or other safe place to store your papers.  


Backing up your phone 


Backing up your contacts 


Other steps to take 

  • Make sure you have extra copies of important documents. 
  • Do you have a backup plan if someone you rely on isn’t available?  
  • Whenever possible setup automatic backups so it’s one less thing you have to think about! 


Need extra help with backing up your computer? Visit this blog post for a list of computer assistance programs in Washtenaw County. Check your local senior centers for Smartphone 101 classes. 

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