Why is Backing up my Data Important?

Why is backing up my data important?

By leaving data on your computer’s local storage, there is a chance the data could be lost due to it being a single point of failure. The following scenarios could (and have) happened:

-          Hard-drive Failure. The physical hard-drive fails and the data is no longer readable. Sometimes this data can be salvaged by a third-party company, but it can be very expensive ($1000+). A hard-drive can fail on its own, or it can be human caused. What about a house fire? Car crash? Liquid spilt on device? Accidental drop? These can all potentially cause the hard-drive to fail.

-          Computer Theft. This is more common for laptop users, but can happen to desktop users as well. Laptops have been stolen from vehicles/houses/etc. before, and since the data is stored locally, the data is stolen with the drive.

-          Viruses. Sometimes virus infections can be so malicious, they can corrupt or encrypt data. A Crypto virus will encrypt all of the data on the hard-drive and hold it for ransom. If the ransom is not paid, there is no way to recover the data.

-          Accidental Deletion. Accidents happen! Sometimes data is accidently deleted on the local machine. Once the recycle bin has been emptied, there is only a small chance it can be recovered.

Ok, you sold me, I need to keep my data somewhere else, what are my options?

There are 3 optimal ways to back up your data.

1)       Network Storage. At UBCO we have the K and F drives available for user data. The F: is your personal storage drive. On a MAC it is labeled as your CWL username. The K: is a departmental shared drive, typically used to store data you potentially would share with other members. On a MAC this will be labeled as ADM. You can drill down to your department from there. For research projects some might have a P: mapped. Network storage is the best way to keep your data safe. We have multiple methods to restore lost data that is kept on the network.

2)       Workspace. Most of us have heard the term “Cloud Storage” at one point or another. Cloud storage simply means storing information in another location. Some well known services include Google Drive, iCloud, and Dropbox. UBC’s self-branded service is called Workspace. It uses technology very similar to Dropbox. You can access workspace at

3)       External Hard-drives/second computers/memory keys. Anything is better than nothing! Keeping your data on an external drive can prevent data lose from hard-drive failure, theft, accidental deletion and sometimes viruses. But not in every case! What happens if your external-drive is in your laptop bag when it get’s stolen? What happens if the computer virus spreads to your memory key? We understand that sometimes network storage isn’t available where you are, so this approach might be the only viable solution in some cases.

What do I do if I need additional information/help on how to use these solutions?

Workspace documentation:

Copying data to a network drive on a PC:

Copying data to a network drive on a MAC:

You can always come to us for help too! You can contact the helpdesk at: 250.807.9000, come to us in person, or submit at ticket at

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