Data storage options have changed a great deal over the past few years and give the end user a variety of methods for data storage. Some are better than others. Some data storage devices were not intended to be our primary data storage options. That means they were not intended to be used as the direct source to save to when in a software application like Microsoft Word. While Microsoft has allowed facilities within their products to allow for this option we strongly feel this is not a good option. Without trying to get really technical we can make some general suggestions that will provide a very safe environment to work in. They are:
Always save to a hard drive. On campus the preference would be to save to the j:drive (network drive) as we do back that drive up centrally. That provides the end user with some level of data security that does not require any intervention on their part. In the event that you prefer to save only to your c:drive it is a good practice to periodically backup the files using Microsoft Windows Explorer (or other utility of your choice) to copy files to a CD or USB flash drive.
You can save directly to a USB flash drive, but a backup source is likely not defined so the end user should plan for this or data could potentially lost. This is especially true if the same file is saved during an editing session in a repeated fashion. Our preference is always for the end user to save to an acceptable source and then backup periodically to a writable CD or DVD or other storage device.
Even though Microsoft allows direct saving to a writable CD or DVD it is not a practice we recommend and really cannot support those that choose to use this practice. It can be very difficult to maintain the integrity of the data in the long run.
While the above is brief it is fairly concise and should assist end users with a best practice approach to data storage on campus.