Everyone has fallen victim to it at some point; your computer crashes, and you lose an important file. Having to start something from scratch can be so frustrating, not to mention it wastes valuable time. Unfortunately, modern technology can be unpredictable.
To prevent this from happening to you again, you should be backing up your data regularly. There are also other reasons to keep backups, including for auditing purposes and data security reasons. Learn why backing up your files and having systems in place to recover lost data should be a non-negotiable part of your computer setup, instead of just an add-on.
Prevent Data Loss
Probably the most obvious reason for performing regular backups of your data is to avoid losing important files. No matter how small, being unable to recover data is always an inconvenience.
This applies not only to business data and files but personal data too. Imagine losing all those snaps of your family vacation and not being able to look back on them later. As much as we would all love to trust our technology systems, they do fail, and there is always the possibility of data being lost. The only way to make sure you never have to worry about this is to back everything up onto a cloud or hard drive.
- Technology Fails
One reason for data loss is simply failures in our technology systems. The other thing to consider with technology and data loss is that viruses pose a risk to our data. Even an unsuspecting e-mail opened could potentially unleash a virus that infects your hard drive and results in lost data.
Viruses are becoming more advanced, so they are also a lot harder to spot. As long as you have a system in place to back up your files, you can feel secure that you’ll have everything important stored in a safe secondary location if you do fall victim to a computer virus.
- Human Error
It is human nature to be fallible, which can lead to mistakes that cost important data. Too often, files are deleted by mistake, or you forget to save something. While some software programs may run automatic backups or offer recovery files, you can never guarantee you will get something back after it’s deleted. Why risk losing something when backups can give you peace of mind?
Archives, Taxes, and Audits
Most businesses are required to hold records of their data for a certain period. This may be due to business regulations or for tax reasons. You also risk losing crucial client information if you do not back up your data. You may even be fined for not having a record of your business data.
A simple way to make sure you are always covered is to set up a failsafe system of backups. It is always best to have multiple copies of business files – one on your computer or hard drive and one off-site back up.
If you handle business information, another key reason to seriously consider backing up your data is that it gives you an advantage over your competitors.
Not only are backups crucial to getting back on track after data loss, but it also means customer information is protected too. You provide security to your clients and ensure there is an ongoing level of confidence in your business. Your reputation will plummet if clients can’t trust that their data is safe with your business.
Whether you are an individual or a large business owner, if you don’t back up your data, your productivity levels could be affected. To put things into perspective, a study carried out by the University of Texas in 2007 demonstrated that 43% of businesses that have suffered major data loss are unable to reopen.
Whether it be a technology failure, human error, or mother nature taking over, losing data is tough to recover from. Simply thinking ahead and backing up files can mean the difference between a business staying open in the event of unforeseen data loss and a business being forced to shut down completely.
How Should I Back Up My Data?
When choosing a backup option, you should consider a few factors, such as the amount of data you have and how it is most convenient for you to access it.
Option 1: The Cloud
There are various cloud storage methods available to you, the most popular being iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, and OneDrive. Cloud storage is a convenient system that means your data is secured in a separate, virtual location.
The Cloud is a great backup option for anyone who likes accessing their files from anywhere with an internet connection. Choosing this storage method also means saving physical space in your office because you won’t need hard drives for backups.
Option 2: External Hard Drive
External hard drives are simple to use, and you can purchase a variety of sizes to suit your data needs. You can even schedule regular backups, so you never have to worry about losing data again. However, with this backup option you should be aware that just as a computer can fail, a separate hard drive can too.
Option 3: USB Flash Drive
A flash drive is another popular option for backing up data because it is portable and affordable. However, a USB flash drive is more suitable for those storing smaller amounts of data. This isn’t a great option if you’re hoping to set up regular backups; however, it can be beneficial for keeping copies of valuable files that you can take with you anywhere you go.
Secure Your Important Data With Backups
Backing up your data is incredibly important. Whether you are an individual with personal files or someone who owns a business with valuable customer information, you should have a system in place to make sure that your data is secure.
You can then have peace of mind knowing that if you make a mistake, your computer system fails, or a natural disaster occurs, you never lose important files. This assurance means higher productivity levels, and for businesses, it ensures an audit trail, an advantage over your competitors, as well as keeping customers loyal.