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With most documents now being created in digital form, the way in which we store data is crucial in how long it will last. We can of course print all of these documents, ensuring that a hard copy exists, however, storing documents in this form can take up a large amount of storage space and will still be prone to physical disaster.
So what is the best method of ensuring your data is safe whilst archiving in the most efficient and convenient manner?
In the past we’ve had floppy disks and CDs. Of course with time some of these methods have been made redundant as new forms of technology are developed, this especially so with the floppy disk.
CDs became the perfect method of archiving photographs, invoices and other such things, however unlike mass produced CDs, when archiving information from your home computer onto a disk there is a danger of losing information. As the information is etched onto the disk it is susceptible to numerous things such as sunlight or physical damage to the disk.
At the moment it is most common to backup data to devices such as USB sticks, tape storage media and portable hard drives. Each of these storage mediums are well suited to different types of data backup, however they can all hold phenomenal amounts of data and offer good levels of backwards compatibility.
So what can we do to ensure that our data is kept safe?
As technology continues to develop, no one device will become ultimate in storage. Technology has a limited shelf life as something else is created and replaces it. So, to ensure that you keep hold of your data you need to keep up with technology and transfer your documents from one storage media to the next. You may think that this will be expensive, but once a new device has been on the market for a while the price will drop. The only thing that you may occasionally need to do is check them every now and again for errors.
Having a backup of your data is advised whatever medium the initial is saved in, print or digital. Not only does this provide peace of mind, but it ensures that your data will be secure as long as you remember to update the storage device when it becomes outdated.
This not only infers to personal documents but work documents too. In this case whole systems and group drives will need to be saved regularly onto tape and a backup copies will need to made too, to guarantee that your data is safe should it ever need to be recovered.
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