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The When's and What's of Backing It Up

Published on 18 November 15
We have all heard the horror stories of countless hours of time, data and information being lost to a computer power surge or crash. Backing up your files has never been easier with the integration of cloud computing software like Dropbox and Google Docs-but just exactly what types of files should I back up?
When Should I Backup?
Depending on your or your companyâs needs the question of when and what to backup can become a little tricky. Some keep actual hard copies in the event of data or power loss, which is fine, but not the most effective or green way to go about it.
The problem with paper files is that they are generally only used for a short time, sometimes only once before they are stored away and then destroyed per your business records retention program. Unfortunately, this is prime time for hackers and thieves to swoop in and steal whatever sensitive data youâre storing. Choosing instead to scan these sensitive documents and house them in either in a secure server or with an encrypted cloud storage company can eliminate this security risk.
What Should I Backup?
Below are files that will benefit you the most to back up.
  • Photos: Whether we are speaking from either a business or a personal standpoint, backing up your photos just makes sense. From the personal perspective, backing up your pictures can be a valuable step in making sure photos of loved ones and special moments will stay with you forever. From a business perspective, having important photos of building plans, design choices and marketing ideas can prove invaluable when something goes awry.
  • Videos: Keeping important training or certification videos on site can not only be a problem when they go missing, they are also generally large, clunky files. Keeping these types of files backed up and cloud secure makes training that new employee as reliable and simple as sending an email.
  • Financial Records: Having a backup of both your personal and business finances is perhaps one of the most fiscally responsible things you can do. With the rise in popularity of online signatures, some businesses nowadays keep these records solely in the cloud-but while many of these services offer secure storage features with passwords and encryptions the cloud is not necessarily the most secure route. Your best bet is to keep these records stored on a strong internal network.

  • Employee/Customer Records: All too often we see in the news how X company had its employee or customer records unlawfully viewed and released to the public. Backing these files up and using a trusted storage company is not only a smart move-itâs your responsibility as a business to protect your customerâs data. Backing up that data (and ensuring that itâs properly encrypted) is an essential step in making sure your company wonât be the next top story on the nightly news.

  • Email Correspondence- Backing up vital emails is another important area that should not go overlooked when questioning what to backup. Accidentally deleting or clearing your inbox does not have to be a concern if all important email threads are backed up on a cloud service.
  • The Server Housing It All: Unfortunately, far too many business forget to do this. If you donât own a business, this last bullet point isnât for you-but if you do, I guarantee that youâre either using a server now or will be in the future. Donât get caught with your pants down and make sure that you plan a watertight backup strategy ASAP.
Choosing just how to backup important information is going to be different for everyone-but make no mistake, you are a fool if you do not back up important documents. Fortunately, itâs become pretty easy to do so. The market is alive with a variety of choices, and a variety of these services even have mobile integration so uploading or downloading your documents on the go is as simple as touching a button.
What files have you chosen to back up? What service do you use? Iâd love to hear your comments.

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