Most college work is now written on computers, not by hand. There are many advantages to this, since you can edit work more easily on screen, and a printed paper is usually much easier to read.\n\nHowever, one benefit of pens is that they rarely break and delete several hours of your work. Computers, meanwhile, can crash without warning (especially if you\u2019re prone to spilling your coffee on your laptop). As such, we\u2019ve got a few tips on backing up data to share.\n1. Save Regularly\nThe first and most basic tip we can offer is to save your work regularly. One way to do this is to configure the auto-save options in your word processor to create a recovery file every few minutes. If your computer does crash, this should stop you from losing too much work.\n\nYou can\u2019t rely on auto-save completely, though, so make sure to save manually as well.\n\n[caption id="attachment_2814" align="aligncenter" width="239"] Just hit "Ctrl" and "S." It's that easy.[\/caption]\n2. Using Multiple Saves\nIn fact, while you\u2019re saving manually, make sure you have at least two copies of any file you\u2019re currently working on. That way you\u2019ll have a backup in case you accidentally overwrite one.\n\nIf you\u2019re working on a longer document, like a thesis or dissertation, you might even want to save each new draft separately. This protects you against losing information, but also lets you compare different versions of a document during the editing process.\n3. Backing Up Important Files\nMost important of all is not putting all of your (electronic) eggs in one (computer) basket. In other words, create a backup of all the important information on your computer. This applies to personal stuff (photos, music, etc.) as well as your college work.\n\nThis could be on an external hard drive, via a cloud service, or on other storage media (e.g. CDs or DVDs). That way, if your computer does break, you have a way of quickly restoring lost data.\n\n[caption id="attachment_2813" align="aligncenter" width="360"] Probably not a floppy disk, though, unless your computer is very, very old.(Photo: George Chernilevsky\/wikimedia)[\/caption]\n\nHow often you back up data is up to you, but we\u2019d suggest doing it at least once a month.\n4. Data Recovery\nMaybe you\u2019ve found this blogpost because your computer has already crashed and won\u2019t start again, so now you\u2019re googling desperately for a solution. If so, we might have the answer.\n\nData recovery is the process of retrieving data from a hard drive. If it\u2019s just a case of having deleted something by accident, there\u2019s a good chance you can retrieve it with the right software.\n\nBut if the hard drive is damaged, recovering data is more difficult. Your college\u2019s IT department might be able to help with this. If not, there are professional services that can. Data recovery can be expensive, though, so backing up your work before it comes to this is wise!