Protecting your Data

While the IT folks on campus try their best to ensure your valuable data remains safe, sometimes it is not possible for them to do so and data is lost due to hardware failure or human error. This is especially true when consumer systems are used to store the data (such as cheap USB hard drives)

As a result, it is always recommended that each user adhere to good data protection practices. While it can sound pretty daunting at first, with just a few steps, you can help ensure your important data is available to you if the worse happens. 

Get backups going: Backups are always a good first step fore ensuring your data is protected. There are several on campus and commercial options that we could fill up several pages of text and pictures describing (but won't). Which one you should choose depends greatly on how much data you have, what type, and how much you can afford to spend. Fortunately, the staff at LSA IT - Randall can help you select which options may be best for you.

Here is a list of backup offerings offered on campus: Backup Solutions

Make copies somewhere else: For your "can't lose" data it is a good idea to make at least one copy of your data. This would be in addition to any backup system you have. This may sound a bit excessive but it's better to be a bit paranoid now than regretting not being prepared later. When you are making your second copy, it is important that it be COMPLETELY PHYSICALLY separate from the primary copy. Don't just copy the data from one USB drive on your desk to another that's sitting right next to it. (What if your office catches on fire and both USB drives burn up?)

Good options for storing your "can't lose" data include (but is certainly not limited to) the following...
  • The University's Box.net service. (http://www.itcs.umich.edu/storage/box/) 
  • Your Google space (http://drive.google.com)
  • Dropbox (http://www.dropbox.com)
  • The College of LSA's file services. (commonly known as H:\ or S:\ drives) 
  • AFS space
If you have any questions, you can ask LSA IT - Randall and we will be happy to recommend something that fits your needs.