Have you ever lost important data? Better yet have you had a moment of panic that you may have?
It may be important financial information, client data, important reports, or a project you have been working on for weeks. Lets face it we all have data that isn’t just important, it is vital that we do not lose it.
Anyone can experience data loss, having a backup method in place is the only true fail-safe to avoid the horrible feeling of having data loss.
Having a back up method in place is the only way to avoid the frustrations and repercussions of having valuable data lost forever. Ransomware attacks, hardware failures, disgruntled employees are just some of the ways data loss happens everyday.
How important is it to back up your data?
So you’ve got a top of the line computer, or the best external hard drive money can buy? It sounds good on paper but lets face it it, one day they will break down . That’s just the unfortunate future of any piece of hardware. It may be possible that your IT department or IT guy to recover your data, then again it may not. Every second you wait to make the choice to properly back up your data could be the last second you had before a catastrophic loss of data.
To add salt to the wound, the internet also contains malicious viruses which sole purpose is to erase your data. Potentially the worst thing that could happen is you get a ransomware virus. That is when a “Hacker” gets into your computer and changes (encrypts) all your valuable files so they can no longer be read by your computer, and to make it worse they will demand a sum of money in untraceable currency like bitcoin to fix (unencrypt) your files. There is absolutely no guarantee that paying them will actually recover your files. Having your data backed up will make this an easy fix as you can just reinstall Windows and move your data back over.
Resources to backup your data
There are several ways to back up your data. Each of the options has its own process. Here is a few general rules of thumb when it comes to backing up your data.
- The price of storage has never been cheaper. In most cases with the low cost of storage it makes sense to back up the entire machine. You can save a penny or two trying to only backup the super important stuff or save your time and just back up the whole thing.
- Storing your data on the cloud has become a very viable option. If a fire or other disaster was to destroy your office, you may lose your data on site. Having a Cloud back up keeps your data safe no matter what happens in the workplace.
- It is most ideal to have your data backed up in several places. Never settle for a single source backup, backing up locally and to the cloud is your best option.
- Having physical paper copies of important documents is always a great idea, in addition to a good back up.
- Investigate data backup for any online applications like Outlook etc., most online applications backup to their cloud automatically.
- Daily used applications can be one of the most tricky to backup. Since the data likely changes daily it is important to get set up with a managed service provider who be sure those files are being backed up daily.
Data backup options
There are many ways to backup your data, it is important to know what your options are and what makes the most sense for you and your company.
There are several online services that provide backup and storage as a service in which case they would handle the storage. These types of services can help businesses better manage their data.
Using the cloud to backup is growing in popularity these days. It allows for data to be stored on another in a remote location. Businesses then can access or upload the data
External hard drives
External hard drives are an inexpensive way to back up your data. External drives as there name implies, are a drive outside your computer which is connected by a data cable or sometimes wirelessly. An advantage of the external drive is that they are portable, they can be moved from computer to computer. They also have the ability to back up large files and are quite simple to use.
The Flash drive is a very wonderful piece of technology. They are small, lightweight and today’s drives can actually hold quite a bit of data. They are a great way to get a quick back up for smaller applications and files. Unlike the cloud, they do not come with any real security. If you were to lose the drive the data on it could be accessed.
What is the best way to back up data?
The best way of backing up will differ from company to company. Cyber criminals can use strings of seemingly unimportant data and piece them together for the purpose of identity fraud. Tailoring a custom backup plan for your business is always going to be the best option.
There are a few things to consider when building your back up plan.
- Storage – will the device or product provide you with enough space not only for the data you have now but also to make room for growth
- Cost – what options takes care of your data needs without going over budget
- Speed – how quickly can your data be backed up, if you have to leave the office in a hurry will you have to wait around for over an hour to insure the data had been properly backed up?
- Security – does the back up solution provide any securities to further protect the data? Will i have any type of security in my back up plan?
- Download, how long will it take to download your files onto a computer? Some cheaper cloud services save a few bucks but when you need to access the file it takes forever to download it.
- Mobility – Can you access the data from your smart phone or tablet? If you would need to access the data on another system other than a computer you will want to be sure that you are able to access the data from the devices you regular use.
Do I need more than one backup?
Computers break, hard drives fail, servers fail, phones die.
There is nothing but good reasons to why you should back up your data, and it is a very good idea to back it up in more than one place because again technology fails. If you are looking for a simple solutions to back up your Quick-books, a thumb-drive or two should work. If you are backing up your customers documents a cloud solutions may be better.
To sum up and be practical, the chances of you losing all your data are not very likely, however its not very likely you will get into an accident on your way home from the office tonight either, but you’ll be wearing your seat belt. So if you are like me and many other business owners, you want to play it safe because on chance that your data does go missing, you don’t want it to cost you your business. The moral of the story is to back up your data, its very affordable and you will have the piece of mind that no matter what happens, you can get the data back with out question.