Today, you hold your life literally in the palm of your hand—on your phone, tablet, or laptop. While this makes your life easier, it also presents problems. What happens when your devices are lost or broken? What about when you upgrade? How do you safely delete all of your information off an old device?
While it may not seem simple, there’s three things to keep
in mind: back up your data regularly, have the ability to restore
it when needed, and be able to delete it when you upgrade to a new
Backing Up and Restoring
Depending upon the type of device, it may be easy, or not-so-easy, to back up your data. On a typical, newer smartphone, you’ll be asked if you want to backup using a cloud service. If you get a replacement phone, you’ll be asked to restore a previous backup. Tablets generally work the same way. Most laptop operating systems, however, don't come with a backup application that is as easily (or cheaply) configured: you may have to install your own cloud back-up solution (such as CARBONITE or CRASHPLAN), or you may need to plug in an external drive (for example, Apple's Time Machine or Windows Backup). While you're thinking about backing up, don't forget about that thumbdrive on which you’re carrying important files- back it up too!
An often overlooked task is properly erasing your device when you’re going to upgrade it. You might be tempted to just recycle the phone or laptop…but don’t! Most phones and tablets have a built-in erase function, available under their "Settings" menu. That option will safely, and completely, destroy the phone's contents. Be sure to do that before recycling or selling your phone.
Even more important is erasing a laptop, which you may use to do all of your banking. Generally, a laptop’s operating system won't allow you to erase the drive that it’s running on. Simply dragging your files into the trash can and selecting "empty trash" isn’t good enough either. Be sure to use a program like "Darik's Boot and Nuke" (dban.org) to erase the computer’s contents. This type of program can be burned to a CD. Simply reboot your computer using that CD and it will erase your computer completely. Only then can you safely recycle that old device.
VITEC Solutions services both personal and department-owned computers and iProduct devices; visit their drop-off depot in the Lockwood 2nd Floor Cybrary or call 800-333-1075. You can also request office pick-up for UB-owned equipment. Track your repair status.
UB’s top-level website, Buffalo.edu, was recently given the gold award in the 2012 Circle of Excellence competition sponsored by the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. CIT was a key partner in the development of the underlying CMS system.
Computing and Information Technology at UB is more than 40 years
old. Here’s a look back at the Interface
newsletter from June 1970. (Please note: this PDF file includes
perturbations natural to the duplication process at the