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Computers are such an integral part of our business activities.  You type in important information, the computer does the rest.  It gives you nice reports, it stores your invaluable database and you don't give it a second thought.  You should pay special attention to how your data is treated.

It does not matter what industry you are working  in. Chances are you use your computer in some part of your business.  As with everything else in your business you need to make sure there are safeguards in place to take care of your valuable information. 

If you truly think about it, you may have original content written for your website, customer communications, emails that you have been saving with important instructions and probably the most valuable of all, your database.   

Your database is the most important resource for constant customer contact.  The best advice I ever got was to backup the data on my computer often.  You never know when a power outage or a virus might hit your computer.

Just think how difficult it would be to replace your database that may have taken years to compile.  It could take months to recreate all the lost data and even then, it may not be reproduced in its entirety.  Some data will be lost forever and at that point can only be found in the great abyss. 

Your business insurance, assuming you have a policy will provide some compensation in the event of a catastrophe.  Backing up data is a form of  insurance.  Traditional insurance cant bring precious data back from the grave after a fire has turned every shred of paper and equipment to ashes.  That is where backups come in.

Backing up your data often is worth its weight in gold.  If something happens to your equipment, the only thing you have to replace is the programs on your computer.  Your data can then be retrieved form its storage place.

How you store data and the frequency at which you perform backups depends upon a couple of factors: 

|      How often you enter information on your computer

|      How valuable the information is

|      How much information you store

In summary:

 Who should perform backups?

 Everyone who stores valuable data and documents on their computers should perform backups.

 What does it mean to backup information?

Normally, not every piece of information is backed up.  Programs on your computer can easily be replaced.  Programs such as Microsoft Office or Print Shop can be repurchased, if necessary and reinstalled.  Your concern will be the documents produced and the data that is generated by these programs.

 When should you perform backups?

 You should perform backups often.  It will depend on the type of data and the frequency you enter data.  Backups in any case should be performed consistently and often.

 Where should you store backups?

You can use a number of mediums:

  |      CDs

|      Zip Drives

|      External Hard Drives

|      Floppy Drives

|      Off Site Storage

One thing to remember is not to keep your backed up data in the same place as the original data.  They can both be destroyed at the same time if they are together.  Off-site storage is your best bet.  That can be in a sister office, a safety deposit box or you can take data home with you.

There are now companies that perform what is called E-Vaulting.  The information on your computer is literally moved automatically to an off site server.

Weigh all your options when choosing how you will back up your valuable information.  There is no time like the present to get started.  Insure your valued data.  Back it up.


About the Author

Elizabeth Hall, owner of Smart Office Help, Inc., offers ways for your business to save valuable time and money, by providing administrative and bookkeeping services to busy business owners. Contact Elizabeth Hall at 407-884-7755 for your personalized consultation. Sign up for your FRE*E Business Success Newsletter on our website http://www.SmartofficeHelp.com.

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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2006-06-18 23:58:40 in Computer Articles

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