UD Seal
Back up devices and data

Back up devices and data

This is an essential security practice.

Your computer is the hub of your personal and work activities. It can help you manage your documents, pictures, music, and other media in one place. Despite the convenience, you can lose all of your data if you don't back it up.

Computer problems are inevitable. These problems can sometimes be fixed without further issue, but it's possible that a crash or malware may cause you to lose some or all of your data. In particular, the rise in ransomware is causing more and more data loss. This kind of malware encrypts the files on your computer, network drives, and even cloud drives and demands that you pay a ransom to the hacker. Backups can be used to restore your files if they're properly performed and maintained.

Requirements

Units must develop backup plans for University information and IT devices. This process includes defining roles and responsibilities for conducting and managing backups.

  • Routinely back up critical or mission critical files according to your unit's backup plan.
  • Verify that backups can be restored if necessary.
  • Store backups in a safe location.
  • Encrypt backups containing sensitive University information.

IT offers a backup service for unit servers.

General guidelines

  • If you need to maintain copies of sensitive files for reference, but you don't need them for everyday use, consider transferring them to a flash drive or other removable storage media and leaving that media in a secure location, such as a locked safe or desk in your home.
  • Encrypt backups containing sensitive University information.
  • Purchase a storage device like a high-capacity flash drive or external hard drive to back up your files.
  • Use an automatic backup program like Time Machine for Mac or the Backup and Restore feature for Windows. These programs will help you automate your backup process, making it less likely that you'll lose important files.
  • Back up all of your academic- or work-related files AND your personal files: documents, photos, videos, and music.

External resources

Back up and restore your files—Windows 10 (Microsoft)
Explains the process for backing up files on Windows 10 devices.

Back up your files—Windows 7 (Microsoft)
Explains the process for backing up files on Windows 7 devices.

Back up your files—Windows Vista (Microsoft)
Explains the process for backing up files on Windows Vista devices.

Mac 101: Time Machine (Apple)
Explains the process for backing up files on Mac OS X devices.