October 1, 2014

Don’t Put Off Backing Up Your Files

by Stephanie Witkin

Have you seen this poster around Adelphi? It was co-designed by Alisha Kelleher ’14 and William Pasquarello ’14.

It’s been said before and you’ll probably hear it again; files should be backed up in three different places. Ideally we are talking about the original, a copy of the original, and a copy of the copy. While this may seem like overkill, imagine your hard drive has failed. No big deal; you’ve got that 15-page term paper on your external hard drive. Unfortunately, that’s gone missing. Now what? Well, that copy you saved on Google Drive has saved the day! What would have happened if your only backup plan was your external hard drive?

A physical backup device such as thumb drives, flash drives and external hard drives have increased in capacity and lowered in cost over the past few years. These days you can buy an external hard drive with a terabyte of storage for around $65 or a flash drive with 32 gigabytes of storage for around $20. While these methods are less popular than they once were, having a physical backup plan can help you with system errors, connectivity issues or internal hard drive corruptions that occur. A physical backup plan also makes your files easy to access nearby and save you in case you forget your password or if your cloud based online storage service is down for maintenance.

Today’s most common way to back up your files are online storage services. Google Drive is free and connected to all your Gmail account  (whether through AU or your personal ones). Dropbox and Amazon Cloud Drive are also free backup services, however, they only give you a certain amount of space upon signing up and you’ll have to pay for additional storage you use. For $50 to $100 a year you can back up data from your computer and your mobile device to storage services like Carbonite, iCloud, iDrive, Mozy and SkyDrive among many others.

Another important step is using the backup options right on your PC. On Windows 7 systems, you can find the “Backup and Restore” option in your control panel. (Note: Starting with Windows 8, this backup method is no longer available. See info about using “File History” for backup.)

PCs also offer something called “System Restore.” While you shouldn’t rely on it for everyday file backup, it can be a lifesaver. When you’ve accidentally downloaded a virus or deleted crucial files, you can go back to a time when your computer wasn’t such a mess.

It’s simple, easy and there are million ways to back up your files these days. So what are you waiting for?

For further information on security issues:

Visit our IT security site for more topics at

Live chat with a Help Desk rep at

Email your issue to or call 516.877.3340.

National Cyber Security Awareness Month is an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Aligning with this campaign, Adelphi IT urges everyone at the University to take responsibility for protecting your digital resources, whether personal, academic, or professional.
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Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students’ lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island’s oldest private coeducational university. It serves more than 8,100 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York—just 23 miles from New York City’s cultural and internship opportunities—and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online.

More than 115,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.