Backing Up Your College Life: The Case for an External Hard Drive
There are no two ways about it: we are living in the digital age. Endless, literally endless links, bits and bytes of information, photos, text messages, phone calls, textbooks, essays, final projects are done online and with digital information.
When was the last time you actually put pen to paper to write down something you wanted to remain permanent? Can you even imagine not having something that you need be more than a click or two away from you at all times?
Because we have a tremendous need for all the data that flows through our daily lives, there is a rapid and constant movement in the technology, IT, and data management fields to develop smart tools to store, share, and secure all that data.
Today, the most common storage solutions that college students rely on to keep their data secure and accessible falls into two camps: online backup and cloud storage.
Of course, there are still plenty of people who utilize these digital storage solutions but also keep their most important data on a physical external hard drive. It may not be as modern and sexy of a storage solution as online-only storage and backup, but it may save you some big-time headaches down the line.
Here are 4 very good reasons to invest your time and money into storing your most important data on an external hard drive.
You Need Fast Data Backup
It takes a lot of time, bandwidth, and money to transfer large amounts of data into the virtual cloud or onto online backup systems. While uploading files, your computer is occupied, leaving you little opportunity to do anything else with your system – sometimes for hours.
It can take considerably less time to transfer data to a hard drive (in many cases), and if you are not using an auto-backup and sync hard drive to send that data to the cloud, you will be able to watch Netflix while your backup your system instead.
Online and cloud storage can also be pricey, so keeping a cap on your automatic uploads (and curating them as well with a hard drive) can help reduce your costs.
You May Need Offline Access
Having a storage solution that you can rely on should online services go down is a good idea. In fact, it is a great idea, especially when backing up important work and documents. Just in case your internet goes out, there’s a campus-wide blackout, or your online information has been compromised, it is wise to store important information as well as your current projects on your hard drive so you can access them even if you are offline.
Outages can happen at any time, even with service providers like Google. Relying solely on these types of storage systems during critical times of the school year (midterms, finals, project deadlines, etc.) is a recipe for disaster, so just to be safe and cover all your bases, backup your important school coursework on a hard drive and know that you have it just in case you need it.
It is Safe
There are a million ways in which the Information Technology team at the University of Arizona keeps the computer systems safe from attacks, phishing, and malware, but what if you are accessing your online information on another public computer?
You can never be certain that your information will remain out of the hands of spyware or other hacking attempts which can be running unknowingly on public systems. There’s also the risk of forgetting to correctly log out of your personal accounts which can leave your information open to theft.
More importantly, there are digital items that you may have that you have no intention of sharing with the world, including records, documents, and critical personal information. By never uploading those items to the internet in the first place, they will remain off the internet and out of the hands of dangerous hackers. A hard drive can be invaluable for storage of this kind.
If you are concerned about your online safety or just want to learn more about cloud storage, online storage, or hard drive storage, contact University of Arizona IT Services and have your data storage questions answered fast