It’s never been more affordable to have a second or third external hard drive to back up all your important data and store it in more than one place.
Which prompts me to ask the question “Do you have a data retrieval and back up procedure in place and are you really sure you can restore all that data with your computer backup software – quickly and easily with a minimum of disruption to your daily business routine? Backing up information has always been important but as we come to rely more and more on computers to perform daily tasks in our businesses, more business owners are realising the importance of backing up because virtually the entire value of their business is stored on computers. Unfortunately, some business owners don’t really discover this until it’s too late! After they have lost all or most of their important data – never to be seen again. This loss of vital information can be very disruptive to any business and in worst-case scenarios, a total disaster.
What sort of data should you back up? Storage contracts, accounts records, tax records, emails, address books, client databases and correspondence – all the vital information for your storage business. You also need to be sure you can restore your data from your computer backup correctly and be back in business fast.
One of the first things most of us learn very early in business is that if anything can go wrong it usually does, and at the worst possible time. So let’s have a quick look at what sort of stuff can happen when it comes to your computer data. Here are three typical scenarios to consider:
1. Specific files or folders you are working with are deleted by accident (human error) or by system or equipment failure.
2. Your hard drive stops working. You have a hard drive failure or you get a virus on your computer which destroys your data.
3. You lose your computer through theft or natural disaster.
In the latter case, it’s vitally important to have a second (or even third) copy of all your vital data stored off the premises in a safe place. Of course, there are now systems available that will allow you to back up your data on-line. Another option is an external hard drive as they are now very easy to use and relatively inexpensive. Plus, there is now a range of software available that makes it relatively simple to replicate your entire hard drive to an external hard drive. So if you accidentally delete some files, you simply replace them or in the event of a disaster you simply copy them over to your new computer and you are instantly back in business.
A visit to any of the large electronic stores will reveal there is a huge range of products to from at really keen prices. One word of warning here – I wouldn’t recommend you buy anything under 160 gigabytes and generally speaking, the bigger the better. I have a 40 gig external drive that I bought a few years ago which is now too small to be of any use and is now little more than an expensive paperweight! Plus, because the greatest part of the expense of the drive is in the case, the bigger drives are not much more expensive.
External hard drives now come in portable and wireless formats too. I recently purchase a Passport Portable drive which is small and light enough to fit in my shirt pocket and requires no power adapter as it’s powered directly through USB. This means I can now backup the entire hard drive from my desktop computer to my pocket drive, and then retrieve important information from it through my laptop when I’m away from the office. Installation is a snap too because you don’t really ‘install’ this drive; you just plug it in and it’s ready to use. But what if I lose it somewhere with all my personal data on it – isn’t that dangerous? They’ve thought of that too. It comes complete with encryption software that protects all your data.
Make sure your important data is backed up in case of an emergency or unforseen circumstances and avoid future difficulties.