Back Up Your Data!

If You aren’t Certain that Your Data is being Backed Up, it Probably isn’t.

_Short Version_

If you want to back up your Waterbury data, visit this link from a domain computer and follow the instructions.  Submit a work order if you have trouble.  Email Nick Chapman if you can't submit a work order and have trouble.

_Long Version_

There is no time like the present to consider the safety of your electronic data. The continuous threat from malicious software such as Ransomware, which infects computer and encrypts all the user’s files, or a simple computer crash/hard drive failure can best be mitigated by maintaining a regular data backup.

First off – if you aren’t certain that your data is being backed up, it probably isn’t. Secondly, data isn’t actually safe unless it lives in at least two locations. If you happen to be using a network share or cloud storage (a Waterbury network share, Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.), your data should be safe as cloud and network storage is normally backed up by the provider.

There are a number of ways to back up your data, but we will focus on the one we think will be easiest and most straightforward for the majority of staff members.

If you are like most computer users, you save files on your Desktop or your “My Documents” library and you may have a few favorites set for websites you frequent. We’ve set up a user-level (no help desk needed) script that should cover basic file back up and even allow you to migrate your files to a new computer, should the need arise. *All you have to do is visit this site and select the “Back up my files!” option. A script will be downloaded -- run it -- your computer will back up all your user documents to one of our servers where it can be retrieved later if needed. The script will continue to run daily, mirroring any changes you make to your files.  If you don’t store your files locally and don’t use cloud storage heavily, but want to start backing up your files, feel free to put in a work order/helpdesk request and your building tech will stop by to discuss.

You can manually access this network storage location, mapped to your “P drive,” from your ‘(My) Computer’ or File Explorer. There is a storage space limit of 250 megabytes, which is probably adequate for your user generated files (grabbed by the script), but would easily be filled if pictures, music, video, or PDF files are added. We expect that storage will be bumped up notably in the near future.

Many users are utilizing cloud services like Google Drive or Dropbox to store data. This makes data much more portable, and it should be inherently backed up by the company providing the service. If you have no local files, you may not need to backup. Waterbury approved Google Drives are even more safe as the password can be reset centrally, so the odds of you getting locked out of your account are minimal.  If you often prepare lesson plans at home or access them from multiple location, we strongly encourage the use of cloud storage such as Google Drive accessible using Waterbury credentials.

Storing your files on a USB drive exclusively doesn’t not qualify as a backup.  While there is nothing wrong with storing files on a USB drive, and the portability is convenient, they are as likely to fail as traditional hard drives and have added drop/theft risk due to their portability. If you use a USB drive as your primary storage location, we encourage you to copy the contents to a computer periodically. Better yet, modify your habits and start storing your data on a cloud storage** which has almost all the advantages of USB drive use plus many other advantages.

Although email isn’t meant to be used as a file repository, anything you’ve sent or received can be accessed using our mail archive system (https://mailarchive.waterbury.k12.ct.us ) – ignore the security warning and login with domain credentials.

_Need More?_

If you want to know even more about data backup, feel free to read here.

-

*Assuming you are logged into a Waterbury PC as yourself (not a generic account) and your machine has network access.
**The only issue with cloud storage is the reliance on an internet connection -- no internet means no access to your files. This is becoming less and less of a concern for most people.

[nc for ctc, 09/2016]