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Data, Backups, and You: A Cautionary Tale in Business

August 29, 2016 No Comments

Featured article by Andre Smith, Internet Marketing and E-Commerce specialist

Believe me when I say I’ve had my share of disruptions when it comes to operating an online business over this past decade. I’ve seen minor setbacks such as accidentally overwriting important files to catastrophic disasters like when my laptop bricked after falling out of my bag. When all of your work is done through a computer – it becomes apparent that you need to take precautions to keep your business files safe and sound.

You’ve got any number of instances where disaster can strike:

·  Theft (physical and digital) of your hardware or files

·  Sloppy data retention and accidental file deletions

·  Natural disasters (quakes, lightning strikes, fire)

·  Vindictive, sabotaging employees

The list goes on and on once you’ve been around this stuff long enough.

As you could expect I was like a deer in the headlights during the bigger catastrophes. I’m happy that I geek out and spent time learning about physical and online backups, though it’s still an activity that you seem to remember and do only when it’s brought up or needed (like insurance or realizing you’re slouching in your chair and to sit straight – did you just do that?).

Instead of going through a convoluted process of doing backups – I want to keep it as simple as possible so that you’ll actually do it. Here is my process for handling important business files I can’t afford to lose.

1. I start off by making sure that my files are condensed in the sense that I’m not working off copies (though I’ll keep them in case); this makes sure that the primary file is the one that is always backed up so there isn’t an overlap or disruption when information is outdated.

2. Next I generally do a local backup because I’ve been burned once before from physical hard drive failure and I’m not going to risk it again. For the physical backup I tend to use an encrypted flash drive. That way if I did happen to lose this backup – someone’s not going to get to it (which is a biggie considering there is personal information on there).

3. After I have a physical copy of my files I’ll go into doing your typical online backup using secure services. I tend to avoid uploading hyper sensitive information to the cloud just because I’m still skeptical like that but for your day-to-day files I think that’s perfectly okay.

4. Once there has been physical & cloud backups done I may also save a physical copy in an off-site location so this way if I were to be robbed or if a natural disaster were to happen – the only physical copy is on-site to be damaged or taken.

5. Finally, and I find this to be one of the most important parts, is that I update my logs and check over the policy. Having a policy is a best practice of data backups so that you know the what, when, and why to your files. You have a system in place versus remembering to do it months (maybe even years) later where a data breach or loss could have the most harmful effects.

I know this sounds straight forward and anyone that knows computing will probably do something similar on a regular basis but when you’re running a business it gets very easy to forget the smaller details like data backups. Hopefully, this article will jog that memory of your last backup and get you working on one right away. Keep it secret, keep it safe!


andre323 Data, Backups, and You: A Cautionary Tale in Business

Andre Smith is an Internet, Marketing and E-Commerce specialist with several years of experience in the industry. He has watched as the world of online business has grown and adapted to new technologies, and he has made it his mission to help keep businesses informed and up to date.


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