Using cloud sync as a backup
Many people rely on services like Box, Dropbox, OneDrive or Google Drive for backing up their data. But all this really does is provide you with a convenient way of keeping your files syncronised between devices.
Sure it can help you if a drive fails, but if a file is corrupted or deleted, that action is then replicated across the different devices as well.
Some services like Dropbox and OneDrive do offer some kind of history or versioning which can help you get your files back, but they likely won’t help much if someone has maliciously deleted your data.
They also won’t help you if your deleted files have been removed many months ago, despite you only just noticed they were missing.
Backing up your business data
Why backup your data?
Aside from the sheer amount of time it would take to recreate your company data, it’s also important to think about what it is you’re protecting it against.
If someone broke into your office or home and stole the equipment, the hardware can usually be easily replaced, but the data has far greater value.
Even when it comes to your personal laptop or smart phone, think about what it means if you lose all your photos and videos, music or software purchases.
Viruses and Ransomware
Whilst you might lose some time recovering the data, it will likely be cheaper than paying the ransom, that’s got to stick in the throat hasn’t it?
Often, to make matters worse, they’re not even be able to unlock the files despite their promises!
What data should I backup?
Ideally you’d back up all of your data, but there will certainly be key data that you will need to save above all else.
It’s possible to do full system backups of all your computers, but in reality you’re more than likely going to want to backup the following:
- Documents and Spreadsheets
- Website Content
- Image Assets (Photos, Illustrations)
- Audio files
- Intellectual Property
- Emails, Calendars and Contacts
How to backup data to an external drive
Most operating systems come with some form of built-in backup software.
For Windows you’re looking for the File History tool. Found under system settings.
On an Apple Mac, the default is called “Time Machine” which can be found under System Preferences:
Both will allow you to assign a USB Hard Disk as a backup location and will handle the process of backing up your selected folders on a regular basis.
We strongly recommend having more than one backup disk and never leaving them connected permanetly.
If your system were compromised by ransomware, the backup disk would also end up encrypted if left permanently connected.
When should I backup my data?
As often as makes sense for your business.
Most will backup nightly, but if you produce a large amount of data in an average work day, then you may want to consider having multiple backups taken each day.
As yourself what would the effort be to re-do any lost work during the workday.
We truly believe that it’s vital that businesses and even personal users are backing up their data regularly and testing those backups can be recovered from.
Sure backing up data is not sexy or exciting and it’s about as much fun to spend money on as getting a new roof (speaking from personal experience!), but it’s surely money well spent.
Keeping your important and valuable data safe will be another reason to sleep easier. All you need to do now is consider what you need to backup, when, how often and where to.
These questions are all ones we can help you with if needed.