63
CHAPTER 9: RULE 9 – BACK IT UP
1 The worst thing that can happen to you is that
you lose everything on your computer. This
could be because of a major system crash, a
major malware intrusion, or some other
disaster. You need to have copies of
everything available so that you can recover
yourself.
2 What’s on your computer is, essentially, stored
in two sorts of folders: program folders and
information folders.
3 CD-ROM copies of everything in the program
folders should have been supplied when you
purchased the computer and you want those,
and the system documentation, in a safe place.
4 You should keep a paper list of any
shareware/freeware or other programs (for
instance, firewall, anti-virus, etc.) that you
have installed, together with website and
purchase details, so that you can re-install
them when you need to.
5 If you don’t have important information stored
in computer documents, you don’t need to
back it up.
6 If you do have important information on your
computer, you have to make back-up copies of
the relevant folders. The best way is (for each
user) to make a copy of either the whole My
Documents folder or just those folders that you
care about (for instance, you may not want to
back-up the My Pictures folder), on either a
floppy disk (one or more) or CD-ROM.
9: Rule 9 – Back it Up
64
7 You should regularly update this back-up; the
safest way is to operate with two sets of back-
ups, one that you made (say) a week ago, and
one that you made today. You can reuse the
oldest set of disks when you make today’s
back-up. On any day that you make significant
or important changes to your documents, make
a back-up.
8 Windows
®
has a back-up utility in Accessories
System Tools; this wizard enables you to
make back-ups to elsewhere on the hard drive,
or to a CD-ROM, and also enables you to
make a recovery disk that will enable you to
recover from a complete crash. You should
have a recovery disk. You won’t know you
need it, until you need it. Then you’ll really
need it.
9 If your information is particularly critical, you
should keep these back-ups offsite so that, if
there is a fire or some other natural disaster,
your critical information will survive it.
10 Online, browser-accessible back-up services
are now available that should be able to
automate and make your back-up easier. This
is the route to go, if you have a broadband
connection and are working continuously, and
therefore need to back-up on a daily (or more
frequent) basis.
11 Back-up for notebooks and laptops is also
essential. Computers crash. Crashes can be
fatal for your device, for the information
stored on it and for you. It is true that PDA
users suffer from a back-up disaster (i.e. they
hadn’t got round to it) more often than laptop
9: Rule 9 – Back it Up
65
users, but that’s because PDAs are lost or
crashed more often than laptops.
In the mobile computing context, you need to
back-up regularly and there is the possible
need for recovery while away from the office.
There are basically two approaches to
notebook back-up:
i Provision of a portable (USB or
FireWire
®
) hard drive that has sufficient
capacity to handle the My Documents
folder (with or without My Pictures and
My Music).
Look for software back-up
management options that enable
recovery from a hard drive failure or
to a replacement laptop a device
such as the Flip2disk from, for
example, www.amacomdirect.co.uk
which provides a full, bootable means
of recovery.
Look for an option that will handle
incremental back-ups, which will run
on the hard drive, creating and
maintaining files of changes which it
will upload to remote servers when
next the user logs on.
Look for options that are easy for
non-technical people to handle.
Remember that, whatever product
you choose under this option, you
could have a lot of valuable,
confidential data sitting on an ultra-
portable, easy to use device that’s
designed for fast rendering onto
another computer. Data encryption

Get Ten Rules of Information Security for the Smaller Business now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.