A recent study by National Cyber Security Alliance/Symantec found that more than 68% of Americans store 25% or more of their photos digitally. The loss of music, financial records and personal contacts could be devastating for most people. Data can be lost in several ways: computer malfunctions, theft, viruses, spyware, accidental deletion, and natural disasters.

Data backup is a simple process:          

  • Select the method to store your data
  • Refer to COB Policy for backing up data at work

Many computers come with a backup software program installed, so check to see if you have one. Most backup software programs will allow you to make copies of every file and program on your computer, or just the files you’ve changed since your last backup.

Here are links to backup utilities in popular operating systems:



Select Hardware to Store Your Data:

When you do a backup, the files will have to be stored on a physical device - such as CDs, DVDs, or USB flash drives, an external hard drive, or on the web using cloud-based online storage.


  • CDs, DVDs and flash drives: These are best for storing a small amount of pictures, music, and videos.

  • External hard drive: If your computer serves as the family photo album and music library, it’s best to get an external hard drive that plugs into your computer (preferably via a USB port). This way, you can assure more adequate storage space for all your files. Copying information will also be faster with these devices.

  • Online backup services: These services have the added advantage of safely storing your files in a remote location and the files can be accessed anywhere you have a connection to the Internet.

After setting up the software and copying your files on a regular basis, make sure you keep your backup device somewhere safe. Some ideas include a trusted family member’s or neighbor’s house, your workplace, a safe, or a secure place at home that would likely survive a natural disaster. Keep your backup device close enough so that you can retrieve it easily when you do your regular backup. Ideally, you should backup your files at least once a week.


The Internet is a shared resource and securing it is Our Shared Responsibility. Our Shared Responsibility is the theme for National Cyber Security Awareness Month 2016. - Visit:

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