Backup Your Semester

January 14, 2019

There is little more demoralizing than to spend a couple of all-nighters working on a paper, only to have it disappear in a hard drive meltdown. You knew you should have backed up your files more often. So rather than having some smug friend give you that “I told you so” look after the disaster, avoid the disaster and back up your files. Today. Now, even. 


  • You know the old adage about all your eggs in one precarious basket. You must have multiple copies of your important data because bad things can happen to hard drives, flash drives and tablets.
  • Ideally, go with both an online backup service (e.g., GW Box, Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, CrashPlan, iCloud) and an offline backup utility (e.g., external hard drives, flash drives) to ensure your data is secure no matter what happens to your mobile device or computer.
  • Backups are not a “one-and-done” strategy. You must set up a plan to regularly create backups of your files, especially as you do more classwork as the semester goes on. Running consistent, automatic backups is a straightforward process that will take little time to set up and will require even less time to maintain. Some backup software can even be configured to run in real time whenever you make changes to your computer files.
  • Routinely test your backup solution to ensure you can recover your data in the event that you do actually need to restore from a backup.


You are putting in a lot of hard work this semester. Don’t let it be lost. “I lost my hard drive” is just about as lame as “My dog ate my homework.”