Why You Should Be Backing Up Your Data

You wouldn’t leave the front door to your business unlocked, so why would go without backing up business data?
Founder & Chief Strategist, AT&T Contributor
April 24, 2012

Would you leave your shop or warehouse unlocked after hours?

Of course not—it’s not safe.

Then why would you go one second without backing up your business data?

The answer is: You shouldn’t.

As such, it’s not surprising that “Increasing Data Security” was the most common IT/Telecom priority for 2012 among the 1391 SOHO and Small Business owners and decision-makers I surveyed online in November of last year. Nearly 40 percent of those in Small Businesses (firms with 5 to 99 employees) said it will be their top IT/Telecom priority this year. But, only 22 percent in firms with less than 5 employees (called “SOHO”–Small Office, Home Office), indicated this.

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Fellow entrepreneurs: Make sure someone always has your back-up! Your company’s assets are not just your products or inventory, but all your intellectual property—such as business files, internal information and written communications, like e-mail.

Data security isn’t just one service. It’s actually the policy that your company uses to keep vital business data secure and accessible. And business data isn’t just files and reports that might be on your computer, it’s also information on your mobile device(s) and on employees’ computers and mobile devices, in addition to business contacts and e-mails that are related to your company. All of these things are important, and need to be secured.

Luckily, data security has come a long way since I started being a business owner seven years ago. Back then, there were only a couple of ways that my company could affordably back up our data—external drives and external drives—and these were problematic, particularly as it related to version control and shareability. Previously, online back-up services were just becoming known and, quite frankly, still a bit too new for many of us to trust our most vital data too.

Today, that’s all changed. There are a number of really easy-to-use and affordable back-up options out there, especially online back-up. And most of these solutions have other great benefits, like version control, mobile- and tablet-accessibility, remote access and sharing built in.

So what should I use to back up data at my company? Well, first you need to know my set-up.

Because I sell ideas and knowledge, information is my main asset. As such, I have a number of computers and information tools that I use regularly and I keep all of them synced and backed-up using a few different methods.

My set-up: 

  • Super-charge three-monitor desktop as my main “cockpit-style” computer
  • Ultra-thin, ultra-light Windows travel laptop without a disc drive
  • Heavier travel laptop with a disc drive
  • 10.1” Android tablet
  • Android smart phone with mobile hotspot
  • Stand-alone mobile hotspot

What I use for back-up:

  • Dropbox. This is great because it syncs up all my files on all of my computers.  I can set sync preferences and even choose which folders can sync.  I can also share folders with anyone else—including clients, suppliers and employees—so as files are updated, it is done so on all users' computers. It also has a mobile application, where I can access any file in my Dropbox as long as I have an internet connection.
  • Carbonite. This is a really simple online back service which has many of the features of Dropbox, but it isn’t shareable. I use this as an extra layer of security, just in case Dropbox were to fall off a cliff or something.
  • External drive. Once a month I make a “hard” copy of my entire business drive onto a 1.5 Terabyte external drive, just in case the Internet crashes one day.

Are you backing up your data?

Photo credit: iStockphoto