Why Small Business Owners Need to Back Up Their Data

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Data security means not only protecting the information that is vital to your business and your customers, but also making sure that in the event that one of your computers crashes or is damaged you are not left in an extremely sticky situation. Many small business owners will use the same machine for years, only to lose everything they had worked on when the computer crashes without ever having been backed up. Fortunately, preventing this by backing up your files is extremely simple and doesn’t even take a lot of time to do. The tricky part is getting into the habit of backing data up regularly, since most people will think about it once in passing and then never follow up. In order to protect your information against loss, here are a few techniques for backing up that you might find helpful.

Consider the cloud. Some of the advantages to storing files in the cloud is the fact that they can later be accessed from different machines in any internet connected location. The cloud refers to internet based storage of files hosted on rented server space, often in a shared capacity which makes it an ideal technology for those with remote workers or who have files such as employee handbooks that need to be given shared access to a large group of people. Cloud storage also works great for businesses that use tablets, since the mobile nature of tablets plays to the strengths of cloud storage. While cloud storage can be especially useful for business owners, if they have more sensitive information that they need stored, then they should either make sure that their cloud storage host of choice has secure servers, or consider a different way of backing up their data.

External hard drives. An external hard drive is a classic device for safeguarding important digital documents. Since it is only accessible by plugging it into a machine, if it is kept in a safe location and protected by a password, then it can be an especially secure place to put your important files. The risks present with an external hard drive include having it become broken or stolen or simply misplaced. Small business owners who use these to back up should keep them in a specific secure place. You may also want to have a couple of hard drives that you back up onto in order to provide a failsafe method of keeping data around.

Creating a backup schedule for your business. Depending on the volume of data coming in to your business regularly, small business owners should create a scheduled back up time that makes sense for them and will allow them to avoid losing work from a long work period. It’s up to you whether you want to back up every couple of days or every few weeks, but think of what might happen if you lose your information from the past X amount of time and what it would mean for your ability to move forward. This should be the yardstick that determines your backup frequency.

Photo Credit to Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr

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