Everyone knows that backing up computer files is important. But a lack of information or belief that backups are too costly or time consuming often causes business owners to put it off. And that can be disastrous. Lost computer files have cost many businesses weeks, months or even years of work.
Critical files include banking and other financial records, inventory lists, electronic catalogs, customer data, marketing materials, presentations and much more. But data can disappear for many reasons. Hardware can fail, be damaged or stolen. Files can be accidentally deleted or computer viruses can make them vanish.
In short, danger lurks and you must be prepared. Having backup files available in the event of trouble could be the difference between staying open or having to shut down. There are several ways to do it.
- One simple method is to copy or "burn" your files to a CD.
- Or keep a secondary computer or external hard drive around to serve as your backup center.
- You can also use an online service that lets you back up your data over the Internet.
- Depending on the amount and type of data you need to save, you can use any one method, or a combination.
The key is to make certain at least one set of files is kept in another secure location. A process that literally takes just minutes can help protect years' worth of labor locked up in your computers.
Backup your business quickly and easily onlineThere are a variety of Web-based backup solutions to choose from.
Get the hardware and do it yourselfImation is a leading supplier of backup hardware or "removable data storage media" and has one of the broadest product lines in the field.
Install backup software on your systemsSoftware lets you schedule automatic backups for anytime you want, among other duties.
- Decide which files or data are critical to keeping your business operating.
- Select the method or methods you will use.
- Perform a full backup at least once a week. Backup any critical data daily to a removable device.
- Test your ability to restore your files at least quarterly. In other words, make sure the backup systems really work.
- Store your backups offsite – far enough away so a disaster won't strike both locations. You can also keep a full backup copy onsite.