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Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online
Introduction to cyber security: stay safe online

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3.3 Protecting your data for the future

This image shows a rusty laptop on top of some rocks near water.
Figure 14

If you have not already done so, now is the time to consider making computer backups.

Backups protect us from threats including:

  • accidentally deleting a file or program
  • losing disks, computers or memory cards
  • hardware failures such as a hard disk crash
  • software bugs that prevent data being written to a storage device or cause it to be corrupted as it is written
  • disasters such as fire or flooding
  • crimes including terrorism, theft and acts of sabotage such as hacking.

Activity 3 Protection for the future

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

Evaluate the list of digital information that you compiled in Week 1 and decide which is the essential data and software that should be safely and securely backed up.

For each type of data you should evaluate how often it should be backed up.

For example, you don’t need to back up software like Windows 10, because you can always download it again from Microsoft. However, you do need to make sure that your Windows 10 keys are backed up as you would need these to reinstall Windows.

If you run a business and have purpose written software it might be essential to have a securely stored backup in case it needs to be reinstalled. This might need to be backed up just one time if it doesn’t change.

If you write long documents or are handling many transactions a day it could be very important not to lose any. You might want to run a system that keeps a protected backup every time data is changed. This might involve logging all changes to a database on a separate system.

A home user might decide that they want to backup all images to a separate hard drive at full resolution, and to a cloud store in reduced resolution.

In the next sections you will look at how and where you could store your backup data.