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How to back up data securely

It’s important to back-up your data regularly when working remotely to ensure your work is protected and recoverable. Original data on your computer disk, USB, network storage drive and anything in the cloud can be compromised and infected with malware such as ransomware.

Why back up? 

A sound back-up regime helps ensure minimum disruption, should your computer be stolen or damaged or your data be compromised (for example, by ransomware). 

What to back up

Any data that you require to do your work should be identified and backed up. Use a sensible folder structure to store your work. This helps you identify the important locations that you need to protect and backup. 

How often to back up

The frequency of your back-up routine will depend on your needs. The more frequent your backups, the less data loss you are likely to incur. 

Follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s three-two-one rule: have three back-up copies on two different devices (or locations), of which at least one is in a physically separate location. 

Where to back up

  • Keep your back-up physically separate from your computer and from your working data location.
  • Offline back-up (cold back-up) keeps your data in a physically separate location, where it remains unaffected in the event of an incident.
  • Only connect the back-up to the live system when necessary.
  • Never connect all back-ups at the same time.
  • Using the cloud to hold an offline back-up means that your data is held in a physically separate location and is highly available. You still need to follow good practice and only connect (sign in) to the back-up when necessary, use a strong username and password, use multi-factor authentication where possible and limit who can modify the back-up.
  • If you use one of the University cloud-based storage services for individuals, your data is already protected and can be recovered.
  • For personal data, some service providers offer limited free space to back-up your data. Follow your provider’s advice OneDriveDropboxGoogle Drive).

OneDrive for Business

(Note: This service does not apply to ACN laptops.)

To back up important folders (Desktop, Documents and Pictures) from your computer using OneDrive, follow the OneDrive’s instructions or follow these steps:

Install the OneDrive app, if you haven’t already.

For Windows:
Right-click the   icon in the Taskbar, select Settings, navigate to the Back up tab and select Manage back up.

For Macs: There is no direct support to back up files using OneDrive, but you can place a copy of your files into the relevant OneDrive folder. 

Dropbox for Business

To back up important folders (Desktop, Documents and Pictures) from your computer using Dropbox, follow the Dropbox instructions or the these steps:

Install the Dropbox desktop application, if you haven’t already.

For Windows: Right-click the   icon in the Taskbar, select icon with your photo or initial in the top right-hand corner, select Preferences, navigate to the Backups tab and select Set up.

For Macs: Right click the   icon in the Menu bar, select icon with your photo or initial in the top right hand corner, select Preferences, navigate to the Backups tab and select Set up. 

 

Google Drive

Backup: to backup important folders (Desktop, Documents and Pictures) from your computer using Google Drive, follow the instructions provided here.

How to recover the data

The file recovery method and time period vary between providers.

To recover your files from OneDrive, follow the instructions to restore deleted files or restore files affected by ransomware. Files can be recovered 90 days after they've been deleted.

To recover your files from Dropbox, follow the instructions to restore deleted files or restore files affected by ransomware. Files can be recovered 180 days after they've been deleted.

To recover your files from Google Drive, follow the instructions to restore deleted files or restore files affected by ransomware. Files can be recovered 30 days after they've been deleted.

When to test the backup

Test your back-up regularly to ensure that your data is recoverable. Know your back-up plan and know how to restore your data.

Further information

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