If you do not backup your data, now is the time to ask yourself why not? Do you think you are above hard drive crashes, theft, and natural disasters? Chances are you probably have not put much thought into backing up your data, yet it is an extremely important process if you want to keep your business going or save your personal files. The following are some more specific reasons why you should back up your data on a regular basis.
Why You Should Back up Data
A back up is a redundancy built into your system, that way if one area fails you have another that you can rely on. For example, you would not go parachuting without a backup parachute in place, right? The same can be said for data. Having a backup in place can save you lots of hassle in the long run.
- Recover Lost Files – Sometimes data is accidentally lost through an employee accident or opening malware through your emails. File can be deleted in a matter of moments before you even know what happened. If you already have a backup in place, there is no reason to panic and you can keep continuing on with business as usual. No matter how large or small the file is, you will be happy you had the back up in place if your files suddenly start disappearing.
- Downtime Equals a Loss – When it comes to downtime in a business, time is money. The longer you are down, the more likely you are to go out of business. The University of Texas did a study that showed 43 percent of businesses who suffered a major data loss never recovered and had to shut down. Most of these companies closed within two years of the loss. Backing up your data can prevent this from happening and potentially save your business down the road.
- Archives and Taxes – Business and individual records should be kept for certain periods of times for tax purposes. There are different regulations regarding what you should keep and how long you should keep it for. If you keep your tax information on your computer, then it is a good idea to back it up. The IRS may request information or do a full on audit at any time. Make sure you have the data handy to make things go much smoother.
- Do Not Have to do Work Twice – You already did the work once, do you really want to do it again? Chances are you want to move on to the next project. Back up your data as you go along so in case you accidentally delete or lose data, the entire project is not lost. If you do have to do something twice, chances are it will only take five minutes instead of the few hours you put into it earlier, which is a minor example. The worst case scenario is losing employees’ work in the process as well and asking them to complete it all over again.
- Convenience- When you backup your files, you are creating room for convenience. For instance, backing up your files in the cloud or using any of the backup services provided by Google or Amazon gives you instant access to those files anywhere you are in the world. In a world where speed is of essence in business, retrieving files and documents with convenience is a smart move to catch up with the ever evolving business climate.
What Type of Data to Back up
When backing up your data, the first thing to do is back up all of the critical information. Think about what you have on your computer and start with the most important data and work backwards. This could be anything from important documents to account information to clients’ information.
Back up Basics
Once you have decided where to start, think about where you back up your data. You should have a hard copy and an off-site copy of the data at the very least. The hard copy can be a flash drive or an external hard drive. The off-site copy can be a cloud system that you pay for to keep your data secure. This way, if something does happen to the business, such as a fire or flood, all the data will be safe off-site.
Backing up your information is important whether you are a business or an individual. Data loss can be detrimental to small businesses and memories are irreplaceable. Make sure you backup your data and files in at least two different places for safe keeping. Start by backing up critical information first and work towards the least important information. Next time you will be ready if a hard drive crash does happen.
Ken Wilson is a Tech Guru and Security Specialist at ThePCDoctor – Australia’s Number 1 Computer Support company.