Last week, we talked about the importance of preparing your business for hurricane season. In the preparation steps we talked about, we mentioned backing up important documents to an offsite location.
No matter the forecast, backing up is an important habit to incorporate into your day-to-day operations. Backing up not only protects your documents in the cases of severe weather but also safeguards you in the case of your computer breaking down with old age, a hacker crashing your operating system, or your computer getting a virus.
What should I backup?
- Work files
- Important data
Why should I backup?
While backing up might seem like one more thing on your to-do list, it really should be a priority. Your computer might be the important piece of equipment that holds all the important data and passwords and business documents, but without the content, what is your computer really worth?
Not backing up is the same thing as not having a spare key for your car. We don’t make a spare car key because we intend to use them; we make the key as a backup plan.
Ask yourself: What are the contents of my computer worth?
Value can be determined by how long it would take to recreate the contents or the loss your company will face without them. Think about it: How many files do you create in a day, week or year? Depending on the value of your documents, you should backup regularly – at least once a week, if not more. The more often you do this, the more it becomes a part of your routine.
How do I backup my files?
- Cloud storage/file-synchronization services
- Google Drive has many features available. You can store every type of file, save email attachments, and backup photos. Files are private, but you can allow others to view them via an invitation. Safety is a top priority with the use of encryption using an SSL (secure socket layer). Google Drive also includes apps to make working easier and gives you the ability to work offline as well. Google Drive provides the first 15GB you use for free.
- Microsoft OneDrive allows users to sync files from PC or Mac and access from any device. You can collaborate with your teammates and have the ability to sync your files with Microsoft Office. Microsoft OneDrive also focuses on safety by using encryption, compliance, and security features. Microsoft OneDrive requires a monthly fee.
- Dropbox – Dropbox gives you access to the files you’ve created from anywhere. This application can also be installed on all computers and devices. You can send large files easily, work on shared folders with teammates, and access your files when you are offline. Files are protected by a 2-step verification and by sharing controls. File recovery is also available for up to 30 days. Dropbox requires a monthly fee.
- External Hard Drives are common and an inexpensive way to backup your computer. Most hard drives now plug in using a USB connection. External hard drives are available in various storage sizes.
- USB Flash Drives are great if you need to back something up quickly. While we would not recommend a flash drive as a permanent way to backup, they can be a good short-term way to save documents or projects you are working on.
What about backing up my email/website?
- Backing up email is a simple process.
- For Mac computers, go to your Mail, select one or more mailboxes, choose Mailbox, and then click Export Mailbox. Then pick the folder you want the file to go into and click Choose. The file will then be stored where you have chosen.
- For PCs, go into your Microsoft Outlook, click File and then click Open & Export. Then click the Import/Export button. If you are working in the 2010 version of Outlook, click File and then click Advanced to get to this setting. A menu will pop up. You should choose “Export to a file.” You will then be given an option of which folders in your mailbox you’d like to export. You can then decide where your file goes. Once you have completed these steps, the file will be stored where you have chosen.
- When it comes to your website, it is important to make sure it is backed up on a secure server. At Old City Web Services, we offer website and email hosting on our own secure servers for a minimal hosting fee that includes routine email and site backup. We can migrate almost any language a website is written in from other hosting companies to our servers, or you can launch your new website with us. Our servers are housed in a secure facility with backup generators, several internet backbones and a structure built to withstand a Category Five hurricane. In-house customer service is available via phone, online or in person.
As you can see, backing up your work, important documents, emails, and your website is vital for the safety and security of your business. With these simple steps, you can be prepared and have peace of mind in the day-to-day running of your business. If you have any questions or concerns about backing up or are interested in our website and email hosting, contact our team!