How to Backup Data and Why Should We?

Video – VLog #50

Why should we backup our documents and how?

What data should be backed up and why?

What happens if you don’t backup your data?

Script – VLog #50

Willie Nicol: Hello everyone and welcome to another episode of The Techno Dinosaur Meets The IT Geek. My name is Willie Nicol. I am the Techno Dinosaur due to being technologically challenged. However, I’m also a personal development life coach. I’m based in Troon, Ayrshire, Scotland, U.K., although worldwide now through the internet. I’m joined today by my usual partner in crime, the IT Geek himself, David Logan.

Willie Nicol: So, hi David, how are you and where are you?

David Logan: Hi Willie, I’m great. My name’s David Logan, the IT Geek, the guy who takes the jargon out of technology for you the home worker, the home-based worker and we keep it simple. I’m based here in Annan, south west of Scotland, and the sun is out Willie.

Willie Nicol: Well, you’re lucky. It’s a very dull, dreich day here, as we say in Scotland. However, we’re all indoors, nice and warm.

David Logan: You’re testing out your Scottish there when you say dreich.

Willie Nicol: Dreich, yes. For the non-Scottish people, it means miserable.

Willie Nicol: Anyway, as I told you David, about 10 days ago my computer wouldn’t work. Panic! However, due to my brother-in-law who’s in IT, he was able to fix it at home. Now, I was paranoid because I thought I’ve lost all my data, I’ve lost all my documents, I’ve lost all my photos. And while not exactly life threatening, it was potentially a major pain in the neck.

Willie Nicol: So, my question to you today is …. What is the best way of backing up our documents, photos, whatever, so that in the unlikely event your computer does throw a wobbly, you don’t lose everything?

David Logan: Great question and I’m taking a leaf out your book … You panicked? I thought that’s what you’re meant to do, keep everybody relaxed, don’t panic!

Willie Nicol: Don’t panic Mr Mainwaring! There was a time when I would have panicked but not so much now. I was able to get over it relatively quickly.

David Logan: So, the question is why, or how should, we back up?

Willie Nicol: Yes. Preferably, as you said before, simple, because simple works for me.

David Logan: Okay. So, the simplistic way for the business owner or the home-based office worker to back-up is an external device. So, that could be a memory stick or a memory card. You can buy them two a penny in Tescos or PC world. If you want to do bigger data sets, you’d probably need an external hard drive, 500 gigabyte or 1 terabyte. Now, if you want to simply do the back-up, you go copy and paste. So, you have two windows open on your computer. You say I want to back-up that folder, that folder and that folder. To retain on your back-up device, copy and paste.

David Logan: Do not drag and drop. If you drag and drop, you could potentially lose data in the transfer, so always go copy and paste. That’s the easiest and simplest way. Then the next time you go to do that, you go copy and paste, some files will have the same file name. In which case within Microsoft windows, I’m going to talk about Microsoft windows, in Linux and Unix it does the same. I’m not sure what the wording is for Apple Macs.

David Logan: But if you we’re to copy a file across with the same file name, it’ll say, “Woah Willie! Do you want to overwrite this file? Or do you want to create a copy?” Easiest and quick way is saying “Yes, I’ll overwrite it”. Now, if you want it to have different days, so it was like you want to back-up on a daily basis – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday. Or maybe week numbers – week 1, week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5. So you can go back, I suggest you create a folder ‘week 1,’ copy and paste into that folder. Next week, create ‘week number 2’, copy and paste. That way there, you can go back historically.

Willie Nicol: Yeah, that makes sense David because that is essentially what I do. Or what I did once my computer was fortunately restored to rude health. Copy and paste from your desktop into your external hard drive which is now sitting in front of me and I think is 2 Terabytes, whatever that is, but it’s a lot of memory, right.

David Logan: Very true.

Willie Nicol: The good thing is that, if my computer goes again, I’ll only have lost anything potentially from the last time I backed it up. But are there other ways rather than copy and pasting to an external device that would be as good or better?

David Logan: Okay, there are other ways, yes. It’s always good to have a second back-up device. The reason for that is if you get, if your computer gets compromised. So, the first stage is if you delete a document by accident or you overwrite a document you can return to the back-up quickly and easily, step one. Step two is to have a secondary device and have it when it’s not backing up, in a different building or somewhere else. Why that? In case your computer gets scrambled due to ransomware. We’ve heard about ransomware. That’s basically where all your documents are scrambled but to unscramble, they’ll hold you to ransom. Now, if you’ve got your device connected to your computer all the time, it’ll go from the computer to that device. So, you should have two devices not connected to the computer.

Willie Nicol: Okay, two devices ..

David Logan: The reason I’m saying in a different building is in case of a fire. So, in the instance where your house goes ‘puff’ you’ve got that back-up, maybe a couple of days, maybe a week old, in that outer building. 

Willie Nicol: Okay, we’re getting really serious here. Is there another way of doing it through the cloud?

David Logan: Yes. There’s numerous ways of doing, numerous ways. The easiest is something like Dropbox. We’ll all have heard of Dropbox and use it. It’s syncs real-time and it keeps the data. The big “but” comes in if you delete a file on your computer, it deletes it in the cloud. So, getting back to the, back to the situation where if I can use the word ‘clumsy’ and you press delete by mistake and you don’t have it in the recycle bin.

David Logan: Generally, if you delete a file it’ll go into the recycle bin. I’m digressing here slightly. That is your first port of call if you can’t find a document, go to the recycle bin. But if that recycle bin is empty and the document isn’t there, go to your back-up. But if you use Dropbox, OneDrive or these other variants, if you delete it from your computer, it deletes it up there.

Willie Nicol: Okay. Well, that’s given the viewer a number of options and ideas about not to lose the rag when you think you’ve lost all your data and your documents.

Willie Nicol: So, on that happy note, I think we’ll wrap it up for this week.

David Logan: Can I say?

Willie Nicol: Oh, sorry I beg your pardon, did you have something else to give us?

David Logan: Just quickly for the user. Yes, you can back-up to the cloud. Beware though, it’s like backing up to the back-up device that’s on your computer. If that gets scrambled, whatever happens on your computer it’s probably, potentially sent up real-time to the cloud. So, be very careful, each situation has got a different environment.

Willie Nicol: Okay, thank you for that. Now that we’ve sufficiently terrified the home-worker, I think we’ll wrap it up for this week. So, thank you very much David for that insight into backing up your data and your documents etc.

Willie Nicol: So, all that remains for me to say .… oh the sun’s just came out by the way .… All that remains for me to say, thank you for watching viewers and stay safe, stay well and have some fun until the next time. So, it’s goodbye from me.

David Logan: Absolutely, fantastic Willie. Apologies for confusion there, Willie, I’m maybe alerting you, the end user.

David Logan: If I’ve got you frightened, if I’ve got you confused please send us a comment. Comment down below or send us a message up above. If you can’t find our channel just search for The Techno Dinosaur Meets The IT Geek. We’re on Facebook, we’re on LinkedIn, we’re on Twitter. Find us and comment. I’m pleased the sun has come out Willie. Is this going to be it for the rest of the week?

Willie Nicol: I’m not too sure. The sun’s out but the sky is very dark, so I don’t hold out much hope.

David Logan: Whether rain or sunshine people, stay safe, be healthy, keep smiling. If you’ve got any problems, worries or concerns speak to Willie. That’s us for now, have a great week everybody. Thank you.

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