The Catholic University of America

What would you do if this happened to you?

 

Disaster!!!

 According to industry statistics, each year there's a 43% chance that it will!

Are you prepared?

 


As a law student, probably more so than most other graduate fields, your academic career will be filled with very important things that exist only in data form.  Unfortunately, the places we keep those files, such as laptops, thumb drives, and external hard drives, are all subject to sudden and complete failure. Purely by the numbers, each one of you is almost guaranteed to lose an important outline, paper, or worse, at some point on your way to earning your law degree.  If this sounds scary, it should.  But it doesn't have to.  With the technology you have freely available, and with a little extra diligence, you can indeed guarantee this never happens.  Here, we'll tell you about some ways you can cover yourself and make sure you're never caught an hour before a deadline trying to re-create that 10 page paper.  

 

We are more than happy to discuss backup options with you and help you find the solution that best suits you.

 

 

Here are some resources for backing up and storing your files. If you do not currently employ any of these, you should seriously look into choosing at least one. It may be annoying, but it's your grades on the line.
Method Pros Cons Resources

Carbonite or other active "cloud" backup service

**This is the easiest, safest option**

  • Automatically works in the background to keep your entire computer backed up
  • Very easy to use - after being installed, there's not much to worry about
  • Safe and secure
  • For about $60/year it's the safest, most reliable insurance you can buy for your education.

  • Requires internet access to perform backups
Carbonite

Cardinal Mail's Google Docs feature

  • Free
  • Provided to each student as part of your Cardinal Mail account
  • Accessible from anywhere
  • Safe and securely stored by Google
  • Not just for documents and spreadsheets - will now accept any type of file
  • Compatible with any system, including smart phones
  • Enough storage for every document you'll ever have in law school
  • Great for collaborating and sharing
Internet required (though there are offline options) Some video tutorials on how to use Google Docs
Thumb Drives
  • Very portable/compact
  • Very easily lost/stolen
  • Unsafe for secure documents due to likelihood of loss or theft
  • Unstable, susceptible to damage due to shock, temperature, etc
  • Limited storage capacity and high cost-to-capacity ratio
  • Passive - you have to remember to back things up yourself
External Hard Drives
  • Large capacity
  • Relatively cheap
  • Some come with free software for automated backups
  • Not as portable
  • Can be easily damaged if carried around and not handled properly
Dropbox or other passive "cloud" storage service
  • Free for 2Gb of storage
  • Accessible from anywhere
  • Safe and securely backed up
  • Accepts all types of files
  • Compatible with any system, including smart phones
  • Enough storage for every document you'll ever have in law school
  • Synchronizes your files across multiple computers
  • Great for collaborating and sharing
  • Internet access required to retrieve/sync files
  • Recurring fees for storage above 2Gb
  • Passive - you have to remember to back things up yourself