The 3 Steps to Successful Data Backup
There are several methods of transferring your backup files to another media, but some data backup systems are more reliable than others.
Which backup media should you use?
Using USB (thumb) drives
USB sticks are constantly increasing in capacity and are highly useful for quick data backups. While not having the capacity of external hard drives they have fast data transfer rates and are highly portable. You can easily backup data to a USB drive and take it offsite. As they have no moving parts USB drives are very reliable.
Using external hard drives for data backups
For small businesses, buying and using an external hard drive for data backups is the recommended method. External hard drives are inexpensive compared to tape drive systems. They’re also easy to use; simply plug the hard drive into your computer’s USB port. Most external hard drives come with backup software.
Using online backup services as data backups
Using online backup services makes backing up your data easy – which is just one of the reasons cloud computing is ideal for small businesses.
But is cloud data backup a good idea for your small business? There are disadvantages. too, chief among them the issue of security. Your business data is sensitive; privacy issues are always a concern with client data and intellectual property. Choose your cloud backup provider carefully if you choose this method.
Using tapes as data backups
If you have large amounts of data to backup (or wish to make and retain regular complete data archives for long-term storage) tape backups are the best option. They are highly reliable but are substantially more expensive than other forms of backup.
Using DVDs as data backups
Using DVDs as data backups is no longer popular. Blank DVDs are inexpensive, and copying data onto DVDs is easy. However, DVDs have a low storage capacity and are the most unreliable method of all the data backup methods listed here. Who hasn t had the experience of putting a DVD into a drive only to find that the data is unreadable and the disk doesn t work ? DVDs have a limited shelf life. I don’t recommend this method of data backup for any small business.
3) Off-Site Data Backup
The only businesses that should be keeping their data backups on-site are those with fire-proof, indestructible safes. Investing in a tape drive or external hard drive and meticulously adhering to a regular data backup schedule won t help if all your data backup copies are in one place and that place is struck by disaster. You must store copies of your backups off-site if your business data is to be truly secure. (Cloud backup does not totally eliminate this concern but is certainly better than many physical locations.)
Many businesses keep their data backup copies in security boxes at banks. (The fee for a security box is tax-deductible, if you need further incentive.) Some small business owners keep multiple data backup copies of their records at the homes of different friends or family members. It doesn t really matter where you choose to keep them, as long as the site you choose for off-site data backup is secure and you have regular access to it.
Back It Up or Risk Losing It
Don t run the risk of losing your business data. The best defense against such a disaster is proper data protection. By creating a backup system that includes archiving and backing up your business data regularly and properly, you ll ensure that your business will be able to weather whatever storm it faces and carry on.