How Do I Back Up My Computer?

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How do I “back up” my computer? I am sure my question is ridiculous to you, but I honestly have no clue what I should be doing.

Your question isn’t ridiculous at all. In fact, I’m certain it’s one reason so many people don’t back up: they simply don’t know how.

For something as critically important as backing up, that’s more than a little scary. I hear from people who’ve lost important and valuable information all the time. Whether it’s from malware, hardware failure, account hacks or other disasters, a backup could easily prevent such loss.

First, let’s look at what it means to back up a computer, and what your options are. Then, I’ll share some guidelines and tell you what I recommend for average users.

Read moreHow Do I Back Up My Computer?

Can I use the free backup software that came with my external drive?

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On your recommendation I recently purchased an external drive to use as a place to put my backups. I was surprised to find that it came with free backup software included. Why wouldn’t I just use that instead of downloading or even purchasing something else?

I get this question a lot, so you’re most certainly not alone in wondering.

Here’s my take on the situation: I don’t know what free backup software came with your drive.

And chances are, neither do you.

And that should tell you something.

Read moreCan I use the free backup software that came with my external drive?

Footnotes & references

1: AKA “crapware”.

2: I get nothing for recommending them – they still have no affiliate program. I just recommend Reflect because it’s good, and it’s served me well over the years.

How can I get my lost Hotmail emails back?

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My old emails have disappeared from my Hotmail/Outlook.com account. I’ve logged into the account on a weekly basis so I know that isn’t the issue. I searched old emails and they’re just gone; anything past 2013 emails are gone which I need to have. What can be done? When I found out and panicked I searched links and saw a link without reading carefully about Hotmail help. It turned out that it was not Hotmail but a company called [company redacted]; they took over my computer remotely before I realized they were not directly associated with Microsoft. Are they legit? Do they do further damage?

Keeping anything critically important in only a free email account like Hotmail is unfortunately a recipe for disaster.

I want to go over how you might have been better prepared for this. I’ll touch on what you might do to get your email back (but to be honest, I’m not very hopeful) and I’ll talk about the service that you let access your machine.

Read moreHow can I get my lost Hotmail emails back?