March 31st is World Backup Day, a day to remind us all of the need to back up all our personal and business data. Anything we have that is digital, and that we value, or would miss if it was lost forever, needs to be stored safely offsite.

For any of us that have lost data in the past, you’ll know the cost in terms of money, time and heartache that a failed hard drive or stolen computer can create. But being proactive, this can all be mostly avoided by implementing a safe and secure backup regime.

Fortunately, there are plenty of facilities these days for simple and inexpensive backup systems. You no longer need a noisy and slow tape drive with expensive magnetic tapes to backup your home PC. Whatever computer you use, I’d strongly recommend you look at some of the online cloud backup services (Crashplan and Carbonite are the ones I’d recommend), but this might not always be the best option for you……

Choosing the right solution

Depending on the amount of data you have, your Internet connection speed and the level of security the confidentiality of your data demands, online backup might not be right for you. You may need to resort to backups to external hard drives. For Mac users this is really easy with Time Machine built-in. But you can also achieve the same on PC and Mac using Crashplan to your own drives.

Remember that the first online backup could take several weeks to complete, so be aware of that today. It may be a good idea to take a complete backup of your systems locally before starting an online backup to ensure you have some protection right away.

Lastly, if your backup is sitting next to your computer……then you’re doing it wrong! Offsite is key. Use a cloud backup service, or alternate external drives to make sure you always have a copy of your data somewhere else in case of disaster striking.

File sync is not a backup

Services such as Dropbox are not an alternative to backup, they’re a useful addition, but not a replacement. We do recommend using these services to synchronise data between different users and different computers, but we strongly advise against relying on these services for protection against data loss.

What you need to do today

1. Decide on how you are going to backup your data
2. Acquire the necessary hardware or accounts with providers
3. Backup!
4. Set a schedule for continuing to do so.

And if you need further advice

We’re here to help you if you need further advice on backups. We offer a range of products that help you prevent data loss, but most importantly we can help you choose the right system for you with no agenda. We don’t have a ‘standard system’, every one of our recommendations is based on your requirements. Give us a call on 01923 555048 or contact us for more information.