Data Loss, Cloud Storage, and Redundancy

Data Backup and Data ProtectionEverybody at one point or another in their life has gotten some very valuable advice from someone that really was intending to help them, save them, or just make them more wise. It’s also safe to say that everyone having received that advice multiple times in their life, has chosen to disregard it, forget it, or maybe never got around to applying it in the area it was intended.

Hopefully today will not be another one of those days where your head is in the clouds, or one of those moments where you received a valuable piece of information that gets filed away into some drawer, in the back of the stack of folders with no label on it. The following advice is for SMBs who think a hard drive crash or data loss scenario will never happen to them, and trust their data will always be available, and right where it was left.

It’s probably safe to say that every business owner in their computing career has heard of a hard drive crashing, data being accidently erased, or the inevitable dog ate the computer story and now the data is lost. The common question that arises in everyone’s mind when they hear this is, “You had your data backed up, right?”. Well that is what everyone hopes for in times like those. The problem is that the majority of the time the answer is “No.”

If you ask every business owner that this has happened to if they were ever warned to keep a back up of their data, you will find most will answer, “Yes.” You actually may not even have to ask depending upon how guilty they feel, they may just tell you something like, “You know our IT guy told me to backup my data just the other week. I should have listened.” And then a sermon will follow about how you should back up your data, and you never realize how bad it is until it happens to you.

Well, this isn’t going to be you is it? No one ever thinks it will happen to them until it does.

So here is your warning. BACK UP YOUR DATA! You have been told yet once again!

Here are a few tips on how to do back it up effectively:

1. Have a local back up for your whole computer on an external hard drive
2. Incrementally back up your files in their folders locally rather than your whole OS installation
3. Create an image of your hard drive bi-weekly
4. Store the important files you work in regularly on an online/offsite backup(in the Cloud)
5. Understand your external hard drive is subject to the same hazards as your computer
6. Library your pictures/music/videos on physical CDs and store them somewhere safe

Just because you have a local external hard drive with your data on it does not mean you are fully protected. Storing your important documents that you work on daily online, in the cloud, is very important for redundancy. As mentioned in the above tips, your external hard drive is just as susceptible to being damaged, or crashing as the one inside your computer. Matter fact, it is the same exact type of hard drive only packaged in an encasement which offers it no real protection from falls, bangs, or even the dog.

Make sure you consult with your IT tech to design a backup system that fits your data storage needs. A trained professional will be able to make sure you are completely protected from every disaster, and provide a reliable solution for cloud storage you can trust.

Guest blog written by Todd Trahan, Owner of A Plus Computer Support in West Palm Beach, about data backup and cloud computing for business.