If you are a small business owner, chances are you have data on your computers that are critical for the operation of your business. How you secure your critical data is important as there are many options that are available to you, with some that are not always the best. First, you must decide on what is the best solution to protect your data.
First lets look at backing up your drives to external devices. This is in some cases a very affordable option for most small businesses. This can be as easy and may be just as simple as dragging the files to the external hard drive, thumb drive, etc…. Eventually, you will most likely have to invest in backup software that can do this for your business and all you have to do is exchange drives once a day, week, or month, depending on how important the data is for your business. Another positive side to this is how quickly you are able to retrieve your data in event of data loss. One of the downsides to this is human error, if you forget to backup, and a disaster occurs like a fire, or a flood, or your hard drive crashing, and you lose everything. It is very important that if you use external backups for your data that you take that drive with you and switch them with another drive on a consistent basis.
Another option is online backups. This option takes away most of the human error that can occur. It has different pricing models, but normally you will find that it has a tiered pricing structure based on the amount of data you store on their servers. How this normally works is you download their software and setup what data you want backed up onto their machines. Something to make sure when looking into this backup service is security, make sure they encrypt your data, and their response time when you need to recover your data. The more data you have, the longer it will take to retrieve your data. Sometimes you can order discs with your data from these companies to ensure that you have more options when a disaster occurs. It is also important that the company you use guarantees your data. Not all online backup companies guarantee that you will have your data when you lose it. Lastly, it is important to note that when you schedule your backups, make sure you do it at night, or when your computer is not in use, as the backups usually take quite a bit of your workstations resources, and you don’t want to be banging your head against the desk trying to get that PowerPoint done, and your machine is running at the pace of a slug.
My customers will ask me, what is the best solution for their business? Local backups with external devices? Or online backups? I usually tell them, both. We have a program that backs up your data to both an external hard drive and online. This gives you the insurance you need as a business, that your data will be there for you at all times. An added bonus is the security in knowing that, if, for whatever reason, your data is not being backed up, we are notified and can respond immediately so that your data is guaranteed.
Commercial Accounts Manager
4th Dimension Computers & Technology