8 Tips For Safe-Guarding Small-Business Computer Data

Synopsis
No matter how small your business is, you still must have a data backup plan in place. No one method alone is a guarantee that your data is completely safe. So here are some tips that show you how to protect your business with simple and inexpensive methods.

Introduction
No matter how small your business is, you still must have a data backup plan in place. Protecting your computer’s data files is something every small-business must know about and deal with before it’s too late. And it’s not a complicated, time-consuming, or expensive process.

So here are some tips that show you how to protect your business with simple and inexpensive methods:

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Tip # 1. Use Two External Hard Drives
Two is the minimum. This is the most basic and easiest way to protect your data that is located on your internal hard drive. Always keep one of the external hard drives locked up in a heavy-duty, fire-proof safe. If possible, keep another one at an off-site location. Multiple internal hard drives are nice too, but are difficult to lock-up or take with you.

Tip # 2. Use Backup Software
It’s very important to take human error and forgetfulness out of the equation. Use backup software that will automatically and regularly be backing-up your data. This software will keep your backup strategy simple and consistent. This can be as simple as using Apple’s Time Machine, for example..

Business2Community.com - Tips For Small-Business Data Backup And Storage

Business2Community.com – Tips For Small-Business Data Backup And Storage

Tip # 3. Use Cloud Storage
Your data will be stored in an encrypted format when it’s backed up to the cloud at the storage company. This should prevent a hacker from easily accessing your information. You will also have easy access to your own data. This can be achieved by simply using something like Apple’s iCloud, for example, or a big-name service like BackBlaze..

Tip # 4. Don’t Use Encryption For Your Hard Drives
For most purposes, encryption of your computer or hard drive isn’t necessary. Encryption is only necessary for extremely sensitive data – like patient medical records, for example.

Tip # 5. Don’t Keep Very Sensitive Data On Laptops
Keep very sensitive data on flash drives, and external hard drives, not on the laptop’s hard drive. Flash drives, and external hard drives, are easy to lock away, or keep safely in your pocket. Use at least two flash drives just as you would use two external hard drives.

Linkedin - 8 Tips For Small-Business Data Backup And Storage

Linkedin – 8 Tips For Small-Business Data Backup And Storage

Tip # 6. Buy Big-Names Only
When you buy any hard drive or flash drive, buy the big brand-names only. It doesn’t cost any extra money to do this. And when choosing a cloud storage company, only use the biggest, and longest established, company.

Tip # 7. Restrict Access To Your Data
This means keeping your kids off of your office computer, or teaching them what they can and cannot do on your computer. If you have people working in your office, you need to restrict which files they can access. Using a password on certain computers and files is a quick and simple solution for this.

Tip # 8. Test Often
At least a few times a year, you should access your data that you have stored on each of your flash drives, external hard drives, and on the cloud. Do this from your main computer, as well as from your other computers.

“No matter how small your business is, you still must have a data backup plan in place.” (CLICK to tweet this quote)

Conclusion
Don’t Put All Your Eggs Into One Basket!
Use flash drives, external drives, and cloud storage. Using all three methods at the same time can dramatically reduce your risk of loss. No one method alone is a guarantee that your data is completely safe. Also, make sure that at least two other family members or employees knows how to find and access your data back-ups.

If you keep them in a fire-proof box, or a safe, make sure someone else knows where the keys are located, and has also memorized the combination lock numbers. They must also know how to find and access your data on the cloud. Following this simple strategy will give you an excellent hedge against any future problems with computer data storage.

Questions for us to think about and discuss
1. What back-up methods are you using currently?
2. Have you had any problems using one of these methods?
Let me know in the comments section below.

Editors Note: This post was originally published in October 2011 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. Click here to view the original post.

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About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

Author, educator, business owner, husband, and father of twins. Kunz is also a digital-media junkie fascinated by the intersection of media, design, education, and technology. Kunz is the founder of Dickson Keanaghan, LLC, a medical training and publishing company near New York City. @jckunzjr
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