Back Up

Back Up Solutions

Since no system is completely secure you should regularly back up important files. Regular backups are also your best defense against losing files to viruses, software or hardware failure, or the loss or theft of your computer. Your back up schedule depends upon how often your files change. Choose a regular interval, at least twice per month. The best kind back-up strategy is one you don't have to think about—one that is scheduled automatically.

USE NETWORKED DRIVES TO SAVE AND STORE FILES

Faculty and staff should save and access files from our secure network disk space that is maintained and backed up each night by ITS. 

  • H:\ drive: Can only be accessed by the account owner. Contents are deleted when account is deleted.
  • G:\ drive: Serves individual departments and can only be accessed by those who have been granted access to the drive or specific folders on the drive by an authority in the department.
  • Go to webfile.macalester.edu to access the files stored on your G: and H: drives from any Web browser.

USE GOOGLE DRIVE (DOCS) TO STORE FILES

Students can use Google Drive (Docs) secure storage area if proper care has been taken to restrict sharing for sensitive information. Sharing should be restricted only to those needing access to the information and only for as long as needed.

USE CRASHPLAN TO BACK UP FILES TO AN EXTERNAL HARD DRIVE

  • For use with Mac OS X and Windows.
  • Cost is free to download and use CrashPlan software; an external hard-drive is required.
  • Recommended for those who do not generally need to access their files from off-campus.
  • The free CrashPlan software is secure; data is encrypted on the backup destination.
  • Backup can be scheduled as often as once per day.
  • Email alerts sent when backup is successful or unsuccessful.
  • Restoring data is quick and granular (whole directories or individual files) whether to the current computer or a new computer.
  • Go to crashplan.com to sign up and for more information.

USE CRASHPLAN+ TO BACK UP FILES TO THE CLOUD

  • For use with Mac OS X and Windows.
  • Fee-based backup solution that backs up data to CrashPlan's data centers.
  • Recommended for those who often need to access their files from locations other than campus.
  • At a modest price, CrashPlan+ offers the standard security benefits of a cloud solution (i.e., external hard-drive not necessary), including backups that are secure (i.e., encrypted), continuous, with simple restores, and the added benefit of email alerts.
  • Go to crashplan.com to sign up; view the CrashPlan features comparison chart for more information.

TIME MACHINE

  • For use with Mac OS X only.
  • Backup tool built into the Mac OS X operating system.
  • Backs up files continuously.
  • Alerts users when a backup has not been completed via error message; does not send email alerts.
  • Simple yet extensive restoration tool.
  • Backups are not encrypted.
  • Recommend that Mac OS X users with sensitive information use CrashPlan to backup to an external hard-drive.

Important Considerations

  • External hard-drives containing backups should be protected as any other portable device. Be sure to keep your unattended office locked.
  • Because of their ease of theft, loss, and destruction, it is recommended that media such as USB (thumb) drives, CD/DVDs, SD or Compact Flash disks, etc. NOT be used to backup important files.
  • It is strongly recommended that information that can be used to steal an identity, either yours or that of others, not be stored in Google Docs. This includes the names of individuals in combination with one or more of the following: Social Security Numbers, bank account or credit/debit card numbers, driver’s license or state ID numbers, or passport number.