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I am sure most small businesses will agree that the data on your computers is critical to the success of your business.  Your emails, letters, quotes, accounts and that very precious database of contacts all need to be protected from loss.

Loss from what….

Unfortunately viruses, hard drive failure, theft and fire are all possible threats to data as well as the occasional user error.

Do you back up your data?

If so, well done!  Now before you relax, where are those back-ups?  If the answer is “in the same building as my computers” then fire and theft are still real threats to your data.

What do you use to backup?

CDs, DVDs and tapes are OK but are prone to failure if they are scratched or exposed to heat or strong sunlight, they also need replacing on a regular basis if they are to be reliable.  External hard drives are not that robust and if you only use one of them then data could be lost if a power spike causes both the internal and external drive to fail, whilst backing up.

How often do you backup?

If you only backup once a week then potentially you could lose up to one week’s worth of data.  For some small companies this is manageable but for others the loss of a day’s data would be catastrophic; only you can decide what is a manageable loss.

When do you backup?

Backing up files that are open is difficult and sometimes impossible, for this reason we always advise that backups are done overnight or whilst computers are not in use.  The problem here is that the backup device is now exposed to a greater threat of theft and fire.

Who does the backups?

Do you use an automated backup or does someone physically start the backup process.  Who checks that the backup finished properly and who covers this person during sickness or holiday?

What other options are there?

One of the services we offer is remote backups where your data is compressed and made secure before being sent to servers in a data centre.  The process occurs automatically at a preset time and an email is sent to confirm success or whether any errors occurred when the data was verified.

Hopefully this article has prompted you to think about your backup strategy and whether it is working.  As always, we are happy to discuss your backup requirements and give you impartial advice as to whether your backups are robust enough for your individual requirements