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         Backup refers to preserving additional copies, or replicas, of your data in a separate physical location from data files in storage. Data backup is an essential element of data management and a solution to keep from losing your data. 


 Questions to consider when backing up your data

1. What do you need to backup?
    ↳ Files that you are actively working on that cannot be replaced if local files are lost.
    ↳ System configurations if not working with the default settings.

2. Where should you store your backups?
    ↳ In a secure cloud storage* with clear policies and service commitments.
    ↳ Backups should be stored on at least 2 different reliable media types (physical hardware and cloud), NOT on a CD/DVD or USB drive.
    ↳ Their location should be documented for future reference.
* Explore the free cloud storage solutions offered by the University of Illinois

3. How often should you backup?
    ↳ Backup regularity depends on how important your data is and the frequency of your changes.
    ↳ Determine backup frequency based on ability to recreate the data, the effort required to redo the work, and the costs (time and monetary) associated with it.


 Best practices

1. Follow the 3-2-1 Rule to keep your data safe.

2. Use a file naming convention to organize your backups.

3. Contact your local IT support for information about backing up your research data. Consider this list of questions to receive the most out of your consultation.


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