Necessity of Backups

If you are anything like others, you have undoubtedly experienced the loss of data as a result of an equipment failure or an error. For example, if you work with Microsoft Excel you probably have been working on a spreadsheet and put off saving it. Then there is a power failure and you computer crashes and you lose something you have been working as well as the time devoted to it.

It Can Be Worse

Losing an Excel worksheet is frustrating, but is gets much worse. Suppose you are using QuickBooks or some other financial software. If you have failed to create backups of the data, you are waiting for a disaster to happen. Compared to the loss of a spreadsheet, the loss of company or personal financial data is potentially catastrophic. You could find yourself trying to reconstruct several years of financial information. To make it even worse, not only do you just lose the information, you also use the data that is critical to managing your personal or company activity.

If you have experienced something like the above, you probably have some appreciation of the necessity of backups. You don’t want to end up frustrated like the woman below.

frustration

Why Does This Happen?

There are several reasons we fail to create backups. Probably the most common is we just cannot believe it will happen to us. But the reality is, the question is not so much if it will happen but when it will happen. If you use a computer long enough, you will almost without fail eventually experience a system crash. Without a backup, you are in a world of hurt. Procrastination can create unnecessary problems.

Other reasons are avoiding the interruption necessary to create backups, not wanting to explore the best ways to create backups, and simply just getting caught up in the busyness of day-to-day activities.

What Needs to Be Done?

The first reality to be faced is simply the necessity of backups. Once you embrace this you can then explore your options. Some of the options available are local backups to DVDs or external hard drives. A warning though, should you go this route, make more than one backup and rotate backups. Along with this, if your backup system allows it, you should consider having it run a verification of the backup. You don’t want the experience of losing your data only to discover that you also lack a good backup. A second thing to do is to be certain you have a backup periodically stored off-site. That way, should there be something like a fire you won’t lose both the original data and the backup. The frequency of creating a backup will depend on such things as the volume of data and the level of difficulty in recreating data.

Another way to backup, which many companies and individuals are beginning to use, is to create an online backup with a backup service. These can be very secure. The ones you want to use will encrypt your data before it is transmitted to the backup service.

So what are you doing? Does your company have a disaster recovery plan that includes adequate backups of critical data?

If you want to know more, contact AimCFO – Contact

As always, your comments are welcomed.

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