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Data Backup.

There are many ways to back up your files, and using more than one method will minimize the chance of losing valuable information.

Why back up?

In addition to protecting your computer against such security threats as malware and phishing scams, it’s also important to protect your data by making electronic copies of important files. Computer malfunctions, theft, viruses, and accidental deletion are just some of the ways you can lose academic work, photos, financial records, and other valuable information.

1. Make copies

The first thing you need to do is make copies of your files. Many computers offer a backup software program that can copy all the files and programs on your computer.

2. Choose your backup methods

After you make copies, you need to find a place to store them. Ideally, you should back up your files and data in more than one place. Here are some options:



While you can use CDs, DVDs, and flash drives for storing small amounts of files (such as photos and songs), external hard drives can hold many more files (like an entire music library) and can plug directly into your computer for faster copying. Make sure to store your devices in a safe place and consider keeping a copy at another location (in case of fire or theft).


Another option is backing up your files to a secure server over the Internet. Penn State faculty and staff members have the option of using Tivoli Storage Manager to back up their files.