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Back it up with these simple tips

There are many ways small businesses can lose vital business data – from coffee spills on laptops and theft to not backing up regularly enough – so Acronis has these simple tips for keeping your data safe.

Hazards to your business data include hardware and software failure, viruses, accidental deletion of a file, fire and theft.

“Lost data doesn’t just mean lost opportunities, productivity and revenue – in some cases it is the death knell for the entire business,” Acronis General Manager Karl Sice said.

“A simple mistake, like accidentally deleting a file or knocking over a drink on a laptop, can ruin a business. Protecting your data is the key, and comprehensive local and online backup protection is no longer only the domain of big enterprise … the most important thing is to take action.”

Back-up tips for keeping your business data safe:

  • Don’t rely on people power – when you’re busy it’s easy to overlook, forget or put off backups until ‘tomorrow’ – of course, tomorrow never comes! Look for a ‘set and forget’ backup solution that will automatically do a lot of the work for you.
  • Don’t assume, check. Don’t assume your backups are working properly.
    • Recovery test: Try testing your backup. There’s nothing worse than discovering your backup hasn’t worked!
    • Check backups automatically: Your software should automatically validate your backed up data.
  • Keep it current – backup regularly. Make sure you keep offsite copies up-to-date. The longer you leave backups, more data you risk losing. After an initial full backup of the entire system, make sure you set up automatic incremental backups.
  • Save only what’s changed. Incremental backups save disk space by only storing what has been changed or added since your previous backup.
  • Speed it up – A full backup is much faster if you delete unnecessary information first – empty the Recycle Bin and delete temporary files if you don’t want them any more. There’s no point slowing things down by backing up things you don’t need or want.
  • Store physical backups carefully – make sure your physical backups, such as external hard drives, USBs and DVDs, are stored properly away from heat, sun, moisture and electro-magnetic fields that can damage them. Don’t store them with your laptop – if it is stolen, the thief might take your backups too.
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket – use a mix of local and online solutions
    • Invest in a good external hard disk – The backups should be stored on removable media or removable drives and stored separately. That way, your backup is safe even if your laptop is lost or stolen. Local backups are great for day-to-day recovery.
    • Put your data in the cloud – double security for your business data by backing it up to the cloud so it can be recovered back to any location when needed. And because it’s stored online, it’s protected from physical threats, such as fire or theft.
  • Keep your options open – recover to different hardware. It’s important to have tools that can recover your backup images to dissimilar hardware. That way, if your laptop is lost or stolen and you can’t find or don’t want an identical replacement, you can recover backup data easily on any new device.
  • Backup before you install – Before you install new programs, updates or drivers, taking a full backup of the system makes sense. If anything goes wrong, you can overcome any problems by rolling back to the full backup.
  • Don’t cry over spilt milk – Watch where you put your coffee!