Is Your PC Prepared for Disaster?

If your computer crashes tomorrow, what would your life look like?  If your answer is: “Inconvenient, but I will recover,” you may be one step ahead of the general public. If you answer any other way, you may want to read on.

If you are not frightened yet by the risk of losing important files on your computer, here is a statistic to think about. PC World examined the annual hard disk failure rate and uncovered that numbers are between 2-4 percent, sometimes up to 13 percent. This means that for every 100 hard disks in use, two to four failed within the first year.

If you value your saved documents—whether they are images of your family or important work documents—you may want to prepare for computer disaster that comes your way. Here are three recommended steps that are both easy and will provide the most bang for your buck to protect your computer from crashing:

1.       Get an External Hard Disk and set a Backup Schedule

The simplest way to back up your data is to make copies of your files. You should consider buying an external disk, hard drive, or USB chord as their destination. The size of the disk should be at least as big as your computer’s hard disk size. Then simply schedule your files to be backed up on a regular basis in conjunction with an online storage service. 

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2.       Sign Up for Online Backup Service

There are a number of online services to save your essential data to the “cloud.” The easiest one is Mozy, which gives you 2GB of free space and offers a set-and-forget-it utility that backs up your data to your new disk as well as to the cloud.

3.       Set up Security Tools

Your computer may have a security suite installed but the subscription has probably ended. Instead of paying for a renewal, try the free Microsoft™ Security Essentials for Windows or Sophos Anti-Virus for the Mac. Top that off with an Internet browser add on called WOT that notifies you when a known rogue Web site emerges while Internet browsing to help keep your machine protected.

You can’t stop a disaster from happening. But with these preventive steps, your data is well protected and recoverable should the unthinkable happen.

Keitaro Matsuoka

This article was written by Keitaro Matsuoka, a business degree instructor and general education coordinator for Rasmussen College at the Romeoville/Joliet, IL college campus. He brings years of experience in IT and business to his teaching practice. Keitaro received a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from University of Illinois, a Master’s degree in Applied Mathematics, and an MBA from University of Wisconsin.

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Posted in General Technology


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