Losing the information on your computer can bring your business to a grinding halt — stalling your marketing efforts, crippling your customer service and upsetting your accounting process. Not to mention the wear and tear on your nerves.
Protecting yourself from this kind of devastating loss is relatively easy, but surprisingly, many business owners fail to invest the time or money required to keep their data safe. Computer data loss can be caused by:
- Power fluctuations
- Hard drive failure
- Malicious software (malware)
- Human error
- Theft of equipment
Quick and easy backup onlineTo avoid selecting, buying and installing your own on-site backup solutions, consider an online service that lets you backup your data via the Internet.
Review your other storage optionsYou have many storage options depending on your needs. New types of storage products and increasing storage needs can quickly make old recommendations dangerously misleading so make sure that any information you read is up-to-date.
Check reviews and choose your productsCheck out the leading technology Web sites to help you determine the best, most affordable and most appropriate product(s) for your needs.
Back-up to removable mediaYou can back-up small-to-moderate amounts of data to removable media, such as CD, DVD, or tape.
Buy an external hard driveIf you need to preserve a large amount of data, you may need to back-up to an external hard drive. Hard drives are practical if you have one computer or several computers in close proximity. External hard drives are usually bundled with back-up software, and most have a one-touch back-up button. That feature makes them the most convenient back-up option.
Buy a NAS serverIf you need to preserve a very large amount of data, you may need to back-up to a network-attached storage device (NAS). A NAS is a server, a dedicated computer that can store software to be used by multiple computers on a network and back-up files from those machines. Look for a unit with two or more SATA, SATA II, or SCSI RAID-configured hard drives. It should have room to add additional drives.
- Make daily back-ups of your files to prevent loss.
- Use CDs, DVDs, or tapes for long-term storage of information or records and delete the files from your hard drive.
- The shelf-life of burnt CDs and DVDs is unknown. You can reduce the odds of failure by sticking with reliable brands of media such as Maxell, Sony, or TDK.
- The best hard drives have 5-year warranties. Consider drives with at least a 3-year warranty.
- You can back-up to an extra internal hard drive, but that offers less security than any other option.
- Software that creates image backups of your system is a mixed blessing. It will noticeably degrade the performance of your system.
- Expect significant growth in the amount of data you will need to back-up, and compare prices by cost per GB.