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Guidelines for making a backup copy of your important files.


  1. Data loss prevention - Hard drives crash. Files can accidentally be deleted or become corrupt. Viruses can corrupt or delete files. Computers can be lost or stolen.

  2. Save TimeIf a file is lost or corrupted it can be recovered from the backup, rather than need to be recreated, saving countless hours.

  3. Peace of MindRegular data backups lead to peace of mind. In the event of a cybercrime, system crash, or other disaster, there is a backup ready to go.

Backup Options

  • Cloud Storage - CIT recommends using Microsoft OneDrive to back up your files. This application allows you to quickly access all of your Microsoft OneDrive files on demand, directly from your computer. Here are the instructions for Microsoft OneDrive (Windows and macOS).

  • External Hard Drives - You can use macOS's Time Machine or Windows File History feature to back up data to external drives that are large enough to back up your entire computer. Many external drives also come with additional software to help you manage and schedule regular backups.  External drives can be stored at an offsite location to protect them from physical damage caused by a fire or other disaster.

  • USB Flash Drives - Flash drives are small, portable, and can be reused many times, but they also offer significantly less storage space than other backup options. They are also much easier to lose or misplace. You can copy files to a flash drive by inserting it into a USB port on your computer and dragging and dropping the files you want to copy to it.


How often you back up your data is important up to you. As a general rule of thumb, consider backing up your data as soon as you have created enough new files or made enough changes to existing files that it would be difficult to recreate them if they were lost.