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"Defining data and rating the importance of it"

Data is information. The importance of it can probably be graded on the time it would take to duplicate it or the possibility of being able to recover it and the cost of doing incurred. In this article we will define data and try to convey a sense of what it's importance is to the average computer user.

Most people probably think of data as files that they have created. These would include digital photo's, text, email, mp3's or other music formats, or files generated by programs that you use. At some point you have to include web sites you have saved as favorites, updates to programs you have downloaded, and drivers and other operating system data. Add in the myriad system settings such as desktop background, screensaver, resolution, programs installed, your customized web browser settings like homepage, email, and so forth and it becomes critical to protect this information. Every thing you do to your computer results in user or system generated files being created and or altered. Every way that you customize your system from homepage setting to mouse pointer to what sound is played when can be compromised if something bad happens. With the threat of viruses, hackers, spyware, adware, badware, malware and even anyone you know or don't know who may have access to your computer it's critical to protect yourself by protecting your data. The time taken to replicate the settings, data, programs installed, downloads and emails could take hours easily, maybe days. Maybe your homework assignment is on your desktop and your computer isn't protected by a password and someone hits the delete key and poof, gone. Is that floppy that you keep your recipes on indestructible?  Hard drives are rated on a MTBF system. MTBF means "mean time between failure". In other words, it's not a question of can a hard drive go bad, it's when. Important Information can be saved in a variety of ways and it's vital to do so. Emails can be saved as text files to floppy disks, cd's or USB flash drives as can other data. It's best to have two copies of really important files because nothing is foolproof. The way your system is setup is more daunting to deal with but just as important. This requires a full backup of your entire hard drive. Various companies sell programs to do just this task with little or no special knowledge on your behalf. Hard drive makers now sell USB hard drives that have this capability built in. The point being that if you value your data and  your time then it's a good idea to seriously consider a backup plan or strategy for your computer.


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