“70 per cent of small businesses go belly up within a year of suffering a major loss of data.” – Joanna Pachner, Globe and Mail, May 16, 2007
Deep down, you know that regular computer backup is the responsible and prudent action that could one day save your business from the utter chaos of a major data loss. You know this. But even so, you put off getting a reliable computer backup system in place and continue to cross your fingers, hoping for the best. All the while, with each passing day you store more and more of your business’ critical information on your computer’s vulnerable hard drive.
When it comes to planning for data recovery, ignorance is the opposite of bliss. Let’s take a closer look at how you’re neglecting your computer backup and then at a few simple strategies for protecting the future of your business.
How You’re Neglecting Your Computer Backup
You use a computer every day to organize, grow and operate your business, but you can’t remember the last time you made a backup of the information stored on your computer.
You don’t know how to perform a backup, but you have an IT guy that you think backs up your computer from time to time. You’re not sure how often he does the backup, and you’re not sure what happens to the backup once he’s completed it. Does he take it home? Does it get transferred to another external hard drive in your office? No, he leaves the backup CD on top of the computer, so that when your office is robbed, the CD is stolen with the computer. (Repeat outcome for fire and flooding.)
You or your IT person perform a backup of your computer system on the first day of every month and store it safely offsite. If your computer crashes on the last day of the previous month, having to recreate 30 or 31 days of hard work would be a complete nightmare, but so far you’ve been lucky.
Your assistant backs up all of your computers every Friday afternoon to CDs, which she then puts into her purse to take home. The information is unencrypted, but she’s been with you for years and she’s practically part of the family. On her way home, she stops at the grocery store to pick up a few things, and as she’s loading her purchases into her trunk her purse is stolen from the front of her shopping cart. As she already has her car keys in hand to open the trunk, she doesn’t even realize that her purse is missing until she arrives home. Now your private information (and the private information of your client base) is available to complete strangers, who also happen to be criminals.
How You Can Act Now to Protect Your Business
Recognize that your time is a non-renewable resource, and therefore the time spent working on your computer is extremely valuable. Protect that investment by backing up your computer every day.
Ask yourself: how much time do I spend working on my computer every day? Is it 4 hours, 6 hours, or perhaps even 8-10 hours? How would you feel if your computer crashed and you lost an entire day’s worth of progress? How about a week’s or a month’s worth of progress? If these are unacceptable scenarios for your business, you need to get serious about computer backup and recovery.
Train a second and third person to perform a complete backup. This way, if you are out of the office for any reason, two other people can step in to backup your computers.
Personally store a copy of your recent backup offsite, in a secure location like a safety deposit box. If your IT person is copying your backup to an external drive that resides in your office, have them also make a CD version that you can take offsite.
The best way to ensure that your computer backup is completed every day, encrypted, and securely stored offsite, is to use a reputable online data backup and recovery service to automatically backup and securely store your information. These services are inexpensive, reliable and managed by digital storage experts.
When you’re planning the future of your business, don’t neglect the importance of daily, offsite computer backup. Because being able to recover all of your information after a frightening computer crash or theft is pure business bliss.