Friday, 8 March 2013


Ok, now that I got your attention I am going to say why your data on your computer is not safe. I don’t mean it is being hacked or someone has access to it. I am talking about backing up your information properly.

So I was checking out some blogs before I wrote this one, this doesn't happen often because I've been through many scenarios in my retail and personal days. I came across Scott Hanselman’s Blog and liked his rule of three…a little bit. First of all, I respect his post and you should take his advice as it is valid. Secondly I have my own rules I like to go by.

  1.  A back up is not stored only one device/computer.
  2. Rate how important it is and decide what the best method to back it up on is.
  3. If it is that important, back it up on MULTIPLE devices (two computers do not count).
  4.  Don’t cheap out! It is your information so keep it safe.

Forms of back up
  1. Cloud storageInformation that is stored on the internet on a server that has security built in. Some you have to pay for, others are free and some are both (depending on the size).
  2. External Hard drive (HDD)
    It has moving parts and is generally connected to your computer via USB. This is ideal for big items as they range from 500GB to 3TB, on average.
  3. USB Stick/Flash Drive
    A small device running that is not mechanically driven. They are small in size and memory. They can be considered more reliable than external HDDs but you don’t get your bang for your buck in terms of memory size.
  4. Disc Storage (DVD)
    There are different types of disc storage (CD, DVD and Blu ray). DVD is the most common and holds 4.7GB per disc. They can cost as little as 20 cents per disc and are not electronic. They are small in capacity size and hard to physically store sometimes.

What to back up to?

It really doesn't matter what you use to back up. Just realize that it is good to have different forms for your important information. Here is what I do:

Pictures, family movies, Microsoft office files (important files), and any other very important/irreplaceable information – DVD, External HDD, Cloud storage (
  • Just pictures – DVD, 64-128GB flash drive, cloud storage
  • Just movies – External HDD
  • Just office documents and small files – 8GB flash drive, DVD

Movies to me are not that important because they can always be re-downloaded or ripped from DVD and Blu rays (see other blog post for how to rip DVDs). But for the cost of my internet per month and a hard drive, one back up wouldn't hurt. All my important information is backed up three times because it is important.

I hope you find this blog post insightful and getting you to think about backing up your information. I have seen too many people rely on external storage as a primary drive and have it fail. Technology is not full proof, KEEP A BACKUP!

Oh, before you go, look at my friend Deanna's blog, she gives great insight on money management for students. Some of it relates to everyone as well. She gives great tips as I refer to her quite often.


  1. between this and your presentation, I think I'll try this out.

  2. Thanks Steph! If you run into a rock and a hard place or need a hand with different product, write back. I'd be delighted to help.

  3. I agree with the benefits of cloud storage! Its an easy and free way to back up your computer and store documents! As a student I worry that my computer might crash during an important assignment or right before exams. Sometimes it's easier to just take your notes right on google drive/ google docs!

  4. Very useful information for PR professionals! And explained very well through your presentation.

  5. Thanks for the credit everyone. May I remind you that there are many cloud services out there and that you should not rely on them 100 per cent. Remember that it is relying on the internet and, in some cases, an external hard drive, DVDs and flash drives should still be used. I should also say that having a print out of some information is handy and provides a physical copy.

  6. Always a good idea to not only keep your files on a cloud, but also do a physical back-up on an external hard drive. I usually do a back up about once every month.

  7. I never knew the importance of backing things up until my computer crashed three years ago. Now I would have to agree with you... It is crucial.

  8. Thanks Jordan, your post just reminded me to back up my documents... I am doing so as I write this. If my computer were to crash and I lost all of my stuff I would really have reason to get my "back up"!

  9. Many people don't think of a back up. I am happy you started now rather than later Graham. And Melissa, It is better to learn sooner as apposed to later. I was in the same boat when I was in grade 12. Technology was more reliable then as apposed to now and therefore makes backing up more crucial than ever. Graham, make sure you back up the important stuff twice, I've seen too many fails over the last few months.

  10. I will definitely start to use cloud storage and back up my pictures and documents today! Thank you, Jordan! Great information!

  11. I use cloud and dropbox but I need to start saving my things on an external hard drive but I always forget or am too lazy...

    Thanks for the tips though! I will definitely start backing-up my documents more often.

  12. Kate, external hard drives are fairly inexpensive, however, find out how much data you need to back up. If you have under 32 GBs with pictures, I recommend purchasing at 64GB usb stick. they are more reliable than external hard drives.