How To Choose A Backup System

How To Choose A Backup System

Did you know that you can lose files by accidentally deleting or replacing them, because of a virus or worm attack, software or hardware failure, or a complete hard disk failure? Now that you’ve heard the potential causes it time to get protection. To safeguard your files, you can create a backup: a set of copies of the files that is stored in a different location from the original files.

Your data is always more valuable after you have lost it so invest in its safekeeping now. The primary principle of backing up your data is that [highlight style=”light”]any important data should exist in two or more physical locations at once[/highlight]. You cannot create a backup and delete the original, or else it is no longer really a backup.

You might think this is obvious, but you’d be surprised how I hear from people who lost their data after their “backup” drive died.

Choose a safe place for your files

Your first decision is where to save the backups. Your options are saving them to a CD/DVD, a USB drive, a second hard drive or a network location. Before deciding, consider the following:

CD/DVD: This is an inexpensive option for storing backups somewhere safe, but might require several discs depending on the amount of information you back up.

USB drive: This means saving backups to an external hard disk/USB drive connected by a USB cable. This option can be faster than using a CD/DVD and most USB drives can store many more files.

Second Hard Drive: With a second hard disk installed on your computer, you can create backup copies of your data very quickly. The downside is that if your machine is lost or damaged your backups may be lost too.

A network location: If you have a home network, you can save backups to a shared folder, such as the Public folder. If you want to back up files on your work computer, you might be able to save the backup to a location on your corporate network.

Online services: Now that we are connected to the Internet 99% of the day, using on online backup service can be a simple, behind-the-scenes option.

What’s important to you?

The next step is deciding what to save. Your important files can take on many forms including pictures, music, videos, e-mail messages, documents, and many other file types. The trick is to make sure you capture it all.

A Backup Procedure

Performing backups regularly is a good habit to form. How often you perform backups will depend on the sensitivity of your files; if losing a week worth of emails would cause you significant stress then you may want to backup daily. A simple trick is to add a reminder to your phone or calendar.

The ideal solution is to use a backup system that doesn’t require your interaction and is fully automated, such as a commercial product or managed service.

You should check your backups regularly to ensure all you important data is being included. This is especially important if you update a specific program that uses its own folders (such as MYOB).

Getting the right advice

Your trusted IT Service Provider will typically have a good understanding of the data that makes your company run and will ensure that it is protected at all times. It is a good idea to talk to them regularly about your options to stay ahead of any potential data loss.

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