If the success of your small business depends on the data in your computer, then you need to make sure you have a good data backup plan.
Without the right measures in place, you could possibly lose all of your information. Consider what that entails. It could include client contact information, financial data, and proprietary documentation. It could be your entire business!
So how do you go about avoiding downtime or experiencing a huge blow to your company and the loss of customers’ trust?
Safe Data Backup Practices For Businesses
There are several ways to go about data backup. What’s most important is to take preemptive precautions. It’s much easier to come back from a cyberattack, loss due to human error, or anything else if your data is already backed up.
1. Get Your Business In The Cloud
Backing up your data to an external hard drive stores your data in a device separate from your computer. You connect it to your device and upload the files of your choice.
Platforms, like Microsoft 365, offer a variety of quality services. From Word to Excel and Teams to Outlook, you can seamlessly collaborate with efficiency.
Of course, to best utilize the cloud, you need a strong and reliable internet connection. Whether your employees are in the office or on the move, their online safety directly affects your business. Utilizing the cloud helps to keep everyone safe.
For instance, Microsoft 365 has more than 1,000 security and privacy controls. This protects you and your business against spam, malware, and other known threats.
By being able to control who has access to company data, you can rest easy knowing your information is always safe.
Need help migrating your data into the cloud? Contact Brooks IT Services to learn how we can efficiently bring your business into the world of cloud computing.
2. Invest In An External Hard Drive
Backing up your data to an external hard drive stores your data in a device separate from your computer. Basically, you connect it to your device and upload the files of your choice.
It’s important to realize that there are two ways to use an external hard drive. The first is storage. If you have a lot of projects that take up valuable space from your computer’s internal storage, this might be a great option. When you need to access that data, you just do it from the external hard drive.
The second way to use an external hard drive is as a backup. This would be when you store redundant copies from your computer in case of system failure or data corruption.
Whether you choose to remove the information from your computer and just keep it on the external hard drive is your choice. However, the more redundant copies of each file, the safer it is – in this situation.
There are devices, such as the Raid Array, which stores data across multiple hard drives. What this means is that when you click transfer, you’ll know that more than one hard drive has your information.
It is also worth noting the two different types of external hard drives. There is the regular spinning hard drive, which is more likely to encounter mechanical failures. Then, there is a solid-state drive (SSD) with no moving parts and a longer shelf life. Regular spinning hard drives that remain dormant for several years may not spin up when you need to retrieve your files. So if you choose to use an external hard drive, choose an SSD for the best reliability.
3. Save Data To Portable Media
USB sticks, CDR, and DVDR are other options that you may or may not remember being all the jazz some 20 years ago.
While we don’t recommend these types of portable media, if you’re into old school methods, these might be right up your alley. Before we were all equipped with internet access at any given moment, we had to transfer files. Imagine writing a paper on your home computer and having to somehow get it to your work computer to be able to print. Back in the day, many people would upload these files to USBs, CDRs, or DVDRs. Then we would bring them to another location to upload onto another computer to continue working on it, print it out, or anything else.
While these are easy to find and typically fairly inexpensive, they are not foolproof. You still run the risk of losing your data if the items go missing, are stolen, are destroyed by a natural disaster, or simply sit around too long.
Furthermore, it’s important to realize that CDR, DVDR, and USB sticks all have a shelf life. Don’t forget that CDRs and DVDs can scratch if not handled properly, essentially damaging your data. Additionally, they can experience disk rot. Of the 3, USB sticks are less prone to mechanical failure because there are no moving parts.
Is your method of storing data seeming more and more like the dark ages? It’s time to get with the times to increase productivity and ensure your data remains safe. Contact Brooks IT Services to get started.
4. Hard Copy Backup
While this doesn’t bode well for the environment, some offices like to have paper copies of all documents.
To do this, you would print each document and file it away. The space for human error is much higher and we don’t recommend this method.
However, if you choose to clutter your office with additional file cabinets to house your documents, organization is key. Coming up with a filing system is just as important as sticking to the system.
Take into consideration whether your business would operate more easily by accessing files chronologically or alphabetically. Then you must decide whether to use business names, first names, or last names.
While this is as old school as it gets, we understand that some industries require hard copy backups for a certain period of time. But you can always print these out at a later date if they are saved in the cloud.
5. Connect An NAS Device To Your Network
Similar to an external hard drive, Network-Attached Storage (NAS) is another option to store data on a separate device from your computer.
It’s a mini-server that hooks up to either a router or network switch. Typically, an NAS in your home would connect to the router while your office would have it connected to your network switch.
How it differs from an external hard drive is that you don’t need to plug it into your computer. Instead, you would save it to the NAS listed on the left side under networks on either Finder if you’re a Mac user or File Explorer if you use Windows.
Any device connected to your home network can save to or access data on the NAS. Businesses that have not yet embraced the cloud find this helpful for seamless collaboration between employees in the office. Because it does not use a third party, there is no risk of anyone intercepting your business data or logging your network activity.
BITS Is Here To Keep Your Data Safe
Brooks IT Services offers dependable and full-service IT solutions for your small business. When it comes to deciding how to safely store your data, we can set you up with safe cloud file sharing and simple backup solutions. Furthermore, we can work within your small business’ budget to make sure you are equipped with a scalable system that will grow with your needs.
Ready to learn more about all we can do for you and your business? Contact Brooks IT Service today.