Understanding and using a variety of data management tools is critical to safeguard your business’s data. Many small business owners don’t back up their data. Not only should your data be backed up daily, it should be backed up as files change and are saved. Here are five ideas to get your business organized and help you back up your data.
Organizing Your Paper
Many businesses still have paper files. Cardboard boxes aren’t ideal for storing paper files. They’re vulnerable to water, fire and insect damage. If you still need your paper files, invest in safe storage like fireproof file boxes or cabinets.
Manual backups are a must because they can be the quickest way to recover lost files after an accidental deletion or a complete computer crash. Do not rely on the smallest drives, called “flash drives,” “thumb drives,” “USB drives” or “stick drives.” These drives are meant to transfer data from one computer to another and have a limited read/write life cycle. They can easily fail and you can lose all the data. Invest in an external hard drive. You can buy one with sizeable storage starting at about $80. They’re easy to take with you when you leave the office but you have to remember to back up regularly, perhaps even daily. Like any other hardware, they can fail, so you’ll still need another backup method.
Online backups run constantly in the background and back up files as they are changed. You can restore one file or all your files from an online backup. Files are stored off-site on secure servers. Online backup costs depend on the number of computers in your business.
Other Off-Site Storage
Cloud backup is an increasingly popular storage method that comes with many new devices. If you use an Apple product, you have automatic access to a small amount of storage. You’ll need to purchase additional space if you have a lot of files. This storage method makes it easy to share files and retrieve a file if you’re not at the office.
Keep your files safe by using a password on confidential files. That way, they can’t be tampered with and they’re less likely to be accidentally erased.
The keys to organizing your business are to physically organize paper files and protect electronic files. It’s ideal to have at least three backup methods so you will virtually never lose crucial data completely.