Remember to Backup!

Computer backup

It is very important to do a data backup on your personal computer, not just your office computer.

Several years ago I left my computer on overnight with old virus protection software. During that night and the days that followed, Trojans and viruses made their way to my home office hard drive. Thank goodness I had a good friend schooled in IT who diagnosed the problem and told me what to do. Based on his recommendations, I purchased anti-virus and anti-spyware software, installed a different web browser and was introduced to CNET downloads. My computer was restored to overall good health – actually better because it was then protected against malware.

Fast forward. A couple years after that a burglar entered my home and stole my computers – a laptop and a desktop. Unfortunately, although I had great protection from invaders that came in through my computer, I had inadequate protection from home invaders! (No, I wasn’t home so technically it was a burglary, not a home invasion).

The Importance of Data Storage and Doing Data Backup

In both cases, a computer backup was critical. After I had my data nearly wiped out by Malware, I began doing a data backup weekly. However, over time my attitude became a bit lassez faire and my commitment to using alternative data storage lapsed. Admittedly, I no longer consistently and regularly backed up my data. Back then, storage capacity was more expensive and I was, like many small business owners, cheap. So I got burned when the thief stole my computers. Fortunately, some key documents and data were stored elsewhere, mainly on thumb drives and CDs, and other documents were stored online, but many were not.

My experiences are here to serve as a cautionary tale for you. Before my computer began going haywire with viruses, I had had no problems with it. Before my computers were stolen, I had had no attempted break-ins. What I am stressing here is that I had no warnings. Therefore, I had a false sense of security; this encouraged me to be lax on my data storage behavior.

Data storage memory cards

As an alternative to an online backup, you can do a data backup to memory cards you keep completely separate from your computer.

I need to point out that the burglar did not just steal my computer, he also stole all the associated computer equipment from my home office! He did not take the thumb drives and CDs but he would have taken a visible external or portable drive.  was when the thief paid a visit in the night..and stole only my computer and computer equipment. Let me reiterate: he stole ALL my computer and related equipment.

Online Data Storage

Based on these experiences, I now do data storage on the cloud. I do still use thumb drives (no CDs!) for portability and accessibility but the regular data backup occurs online. I use the same provider for my personal computer backup as I do for our business computer backups. It makes it easy to manage and access should, heaven forbid, something happen to wipe out my hard drive or cause it to disappear. Now no one can steal my data storage equipment because there is none! Except for the thumb drives, I keep no equipment in MY home office to steal. Obviously the business office is a different story.

Another reason I am a big fan of data backup on the cloud is that most remote online backup entities have redundant servers that are housed in completely different geographic regions (i.e., West and Southeast). This geographic redundancy stops Mother Nature, terrorists, other people and other occurrences from disrupting or destroying the data.

Remote Data Backup

Remote backup also assists with disaster recovery by harnessing the power of the cloud and other concepts that may be familiar but not fully understood.  As the former CFO of an IT services company, I am aware that events such as floods, vandalism, extensive power outages, or theft can and do happen. By ensuring we backup to servers that are offsite, we limit or eliminate many of our data vulnerabilities. By utilizing remote or online data backup, we better protect ourselves and with online access, we can work remotely if the office is unavailable. Now, with the rapid proliferation of cloud data storage services and the ready availability of remote servers, it is relatively easy and highly affordable to find an entity that has the level of security needed.