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Back Up Basics

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You probably know you should back up your computer regularly, but it is a bit like eating fruit and veg five times a day.  You get busy.  It’s easy to forget.  And then you think you’ll catch up soon.  The problem is that disaster could strike when you have failed to back up your computer data.  One click could allow a virus to wreck your system.  Or someone could accidentally alter or delete important information.  Without a back up, you have a lot at stake.

Backing up your data is simply the process of creating a copy and storing it safely.  If something goes wrong, you can revert to your backed up data.  The exact system you use depends on many different factors including the volume of data, how sensitive it is, and how often it is changed.  One common mistake people make is to back up their data and store the back up on the same computer system as the original data.  That’s okay if your only concern is someone accidentally altering or deleting a file, but in reality the threats to your data are more diverse than that.

Safety First – Save and Store 101

The first rule of backing up your computer data is to store it safely.  That means physically away from your computer system.  If you are an single office with a fire-proof safe, that safe would be an appropriate place to store your data on a USB or disk.  It’s one step safer to remove the data entirely from the premises.  One of the best solutions for many companies is to store their back ups in the cloud.  That way your data is safe from any kind of threat, and you can access it from anywhere.  Whether your office is flooded in a storm or a burglar steals your computer or someone just spills tea all over their computer – your backed up data is safe in the cloud.

How often you should back up your digital data varies a lot.  How often is your data changed? If you have a staff working on computers all day, editing databases, creating documents, updating financial data, then it makes sense to back up daily.  If your data is less critical and you aren’t making many changes every day, weekly would probably be okay.  The real question how much could you afford to lose.  A day’s worth of work?  A week’s worth?  That tells you how frequently you need to back up your data.

Think backing up your data is paranoid ? Just remember those recent headlines about the virus that caused so much chaos with the NHS and other organizations.  All it takes to lose everything is one wrong click.

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