Recently, I had a major client who lost their server to a power surge. You guessed it – they had not run an adequate system backup in a very long time.
I will be the first to admit, it is so easy to put off doing regular data backups. I think many people simply don’t understand how devastating a complete loss of data can be. Besides that, we all believe it will never happen to us. If you are the owner of a business, do you really want to lose all your customer records, inventory information, or financial information? Do you volunteer to keep the books for a professional organization or community club?
Do you keep your family tree history which you have poured your heart and soul (not to mention countless precious hours) into on your PC? If any of these situations (or something similar) applies to you, you need to back up your files on a regular basis.
So, how do you go about this?? My personal recommendation is to use an online backup service such as Carbonite or Mozy. Either of these will provide a good option for individuals or a small to medium sized business. Mozy is compatible with both Windows and Mac systems and it uses fewer system resources. Carbonite is compatible with Windows and now Mac systems, is user friendly and many find it works more smoothly for them. Carbonite does require more system resources however.
Another option for doing automatic backups of your data is to purchase your own external hard drive and use one of the many programs available on the market which will schedule and perform your backups. You can also manually backup your files as long as you actually remember to do it! You can use CD ROM, SD cards, USB drives, or some other similar media. The major drawbacks to doing your backups in this manner are:
- Not remembering to do the backups consistently
- Not keeping the backups safe and secure.
If you simply keep your backup data in a desk drawer or somewhere else on-site, they are not really safe. Disasters such as house fires, theft, water damage and electrical storms are all too common and can quickly wipe out your system and your data backups all at the same time.
Remember These Things
When you are considering the best way to backup your data the important factors to keep in mind are :
- Make sure you back up all appropriate files
- Do your data backups regularly. Automatic systems are usually best to ensure consistency.
- Keep your backups in a safe place. Off site is preferable.
Most importantly, set up some kind of data backup system – anything is better than nothing at all – and do it today.. Here’s hoping you will never be singing the backup blues!
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