A huge proportion of our sales, negotiations, and customer interactions all occur online. Much of what isn’t online still takes place electronically. Put simply, there are very few businesses these days that can’t be described as an e-Business. This has implications for your business information. It used to be that your business records had to be protected from fire – probably stored in a flameproof filing cabinet or two. However, now it’s power surges, computer crashes, and hackers that you need to worry about. In a nutshell, it’s important that you regularly back up your business data and with all those documents, presentations, and spreadsheets the terabytes can really mount up. Knowing the importance of backing up data is crucial to every business. Depending on your setup and needs, there are a number of options open to you.
Desktops and laptops.
Networked or not, storage on this type of hardware is usually on the hard disk and that’s what you need a copy of should the worst happen.
Recordable media – due to the size of today’s hard drives, gone are the days of using floppy disks for backing up but you may be able to use a CD-R/DVD-R or two – although most businesses will need an option with a little more capacity.
Another hard drive – add a second hard disk and mirror the data on your existing one. That said, as part of the same system, your second disk may be vulnerable to any problem that lays the first one low. Another option is to plug in an external hard drive, copy the data across and then unplug, thus keeping it isolated (and safe).
Online back up services – basically, this is putting your data in the cloud, on a remote server. Simple and easy but with certain risks: you’re reliant on your internet connection for backing up and data retrieval, and if the service provider goes bust will you be able to regain your data?
You may have certain systems of record – HR management, payroll, customer relationship management (CRM) – sourced through cloud providers on the SaaS or software-as-a-service model. In this case, back up is the provider’s responsibility but for peace of mind, you need to be content with their data center’s back up procedures and disaster recovery plans.
So much business is carried out using these indispensable gadgets but still we often neglect to protect the data and records they contain. Apple’s iCloud storage service automatically backs up email, contacts, calendar data, music, books, apps and so on from all your Apple devices and ensures that whatever you have done or bought, it’s available from every device. For Android phones, MyBackup Pro is a cheap app to download that makes the process easy.
With more and more business being transacted via social media it’s not inconceivable that you might want to retrace your Facebook or Twitter activity at some point down the line. Both sites do offer to download an archive of your activity but for the fuller picture, you’ll need a dedicated back up tool.
Frostbox is an app that backs up all the main social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, foursquare, Flickr and Instagram. Photos, contacts, friends, groups and inboxes, all can potentially be protected depending on which service you opt for.
Backupify is a cloud-to-cloud back up service that also specializes in business social media data and the Google suite of apps: Mail, Chat, Drive, Calendar, Contacts, and Sites.
SocialSafe – if you worry about where your data is kept in the cloud then SocialSafe may be for you. It’s unique feature is that it downloads all your social media data to your desktop computer, saving it to a dedicated folder on the hard drive. This gives you ‘possession’ of your social media information and history but does mean that you’ll be backing up the back up as part of your desktop measures…