Five simple things to secure your business #2: Backing up your data

It’s always important to have a second copy of your data.

Having duplicate copies of your important information keeps it safe in case anything goes wrong with your computer; your hard drive might fail, or your laptop might be stolen.

No backup? That data is gone, probably never to be seen again.

You might keep that data in the cloud; on OneDrive or Google Drive, or on a network-attached storage (NAS) server. The biggest issue with backups is making sure that you do it reliably, but what would be considered reliable?

Unfortunately there isn’t a single answer to this question. Depending on your business you might have different amounts and different types of data.

At one extreme, some people need a fail-safe system where everything is backed up all the time, and they can restore their computer to its state at an earlier date and time. Others may not care if their PC works, they just want to be sure they have copies of irreplaceable contracts, and business information available.

Backing up your data locally

It’s a good idea to schedule backups to an external hard drive or a network-attached (NAS) server. Doing so means that if the hardware in your computer ever fails, you have a physical copy available that you can connect to another device and carry on.

Both Windows and Mac OSX have built in backup tools that allow you to schedule backups to specific drives or devices.

Remember though, moving big files to the external hard drive or NAS doesn’t mean it’s backed up. The point of backup is to have it in two or more locations; not just off your main computer.

Local backups also need to be kept secure. If you’re worried about your laptop being stolen, keeping the backup on an external drive in the same bag means you’d lose that too, defeating the point of a backup.

Backups in the cloud

OneDrive, Google Drive, and iCloud are all cloud storage systems and can allow you to back up your most important data. All three offer a free amount of storage (up to around 5GB of data) with paid plans offering more.

You can use the providers’ software to automatically upload files to their services to give you an automated backup system, but remember if you change or delete a file from your computer, the software will also delete it from your cloud storage.

Again, using cloud storage for large files isn’t a backup system; it’s only a backup if it’s in more than one place.

Virtual IT Manager cloud backup

Our Virtual IT Manager packages come with an automated backup functionality that securely stores all your important documents and files so that you can access them if the worst ever happens, or even if you just need to refer back to an old version of a file.

Whatever option you choose, having a regular and secure backup will keep your data safe and ensure your business can continue to run regardless of any issues with your IT.


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