Top 5 Ways to Keep Your Computer Files Safe

As more and more things we value get stored on our computers, such as digital photos and Quicken financial data, the consequences of losing files have dramatically increased. Here are some simple ways you can make sure you never lose your important files.
1. Make sure your files are backed up using online data backup
This is the number one way to make sure your files are always safe. Online backup of your computer is the easiest way to make sure you never lose your files. Systems that offer online data backup are A) automatic, so you never have to remember to do it, B) inexpensive, and C) keep everything off site. That way, in case your computer ever gets damaged or stolen, everything is safe.
2. Don't save over your previous file
This isn't one that many people think about, but opening a new word document, making changes, and then saving the modified file using the same file name means you just overwrote you previous copy. It's better to save important photos or documents using version numbers such as "My Word File v1.0". Change the version number after every significant change to something like v1.1 or v2.0
3. Replace hard drives before there is trouble
The typical life span for a hard drive is 3 to 5 years. And they are inexpensive enough to be replaced before they fail. For less than $50, you can get a drive that will hold all your pictures, documents and everything else. Replacing them on a routine basis before there is a problem means you won't have to go through the stress of trying to get your files back when your drive fails.
4. Make sure your computer is electrically protected
Computers are very susceptible to power problems. Unintentional power shutoffs, voltage spikes and many other things can cause unexpected loss of files and damage your computer equipment. Your computers should be plugged into an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS. When you plug your computer into a UPS, your equipment will continue to be powered on even if the electricity goes out or there is a power surge, so that you can shut your computer down properly. That way, your computer equipment, and most importantly your files, will be safe.
5. Don't get your computer stolen
This may seem like an obvious one, but thousands of laptops are stolen all the time. The most common way people have their laptops stolen is from their car. If you are going to leave your laptop in your car, lock it in the trunk where it isn't visible from the outside, or take it with you.

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