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  1. Save early, often, and always backup your data (e.g., on an external hard drive, Google Drive, a USB memory key, or email files to yourself at a webmail account.) Don't rely on USB keys as your primary method of data storage, since they are prone to sudden and catastrophic failure, especially when unplugged incorrectly, (failing to use the "safely remove"/"eject" feature,) and also when copying a large amount of data all at once, when some keys tend to overheat, fail, and become damaged and unusable as a result -- USB keys are typically only made to handle small amounts of data transfer at a time.

    Note: Never leave your data on the University of Alberta public computer machines, since it is then available for anyone to access. Instead, delete the document from the computer hard drive or desktop then empty the Recycle Bin before you leave.

  2. Close your document before removing your USB memory keys or floppy disks. For devices such as USB memory keys, memory cards, and external hard drives, make sure you choose to safely remove the device before unplugging it. Omitting this step may result in corruption of your data -- either of specific files, or the entire filesystem on the device.

  3. It is a good idea to keep version control on major documents should you need to go back to a previous version. There are many ways to do this but a simple way is to open the file and immediately save it as a new document (MS Word) or, Open as a Copy in WordPerfect.