It has been a tough year.
Chances are you are now working from a home office . Is that home office getting backed up?
You now have a home office and even though you may have access to a corporate shared drive or server, chances are you are also creating and saving documents on your local computer. Is it your personal computer or a corporate computer? Are any documents and data you create on it being backed data up?
All those important documents and data you have accumulated over the past year. If these are sitting on your personal computer hard drive then you are at risk of losing them.
How old is your computer? Is it out of warranty? What if it dies tomorrow – will you be able to get back the data you need?
14% of hard drives fail in the first year alone, all hard drives have a MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) rate – which means they WILL fail. Not if…but will
You need to think about how to protect your local documents, spreadsheets, presentation, and financials.
Backup your Home Office to USB
The first option many people look to is to just use a USB stick or drive and say “I’ll just copy my files there and have a backup for safe keeping”.
If this is you, then when actually was the last time you did that copy? (be honest)
Have you experienced the USB key death yet? – when you plug it in and Windows pops and and says you need to format this drive to use it? You will.
The main problem with backing up to USB keys and external USB drives is that unless something is automatically making that copy for you, you’ll forget to do it.
You’ve got to do this last thing first, it’s late, you’ll do it next time. We’ve all been there.
The other problem with USB keys and external drives is that they are still on your property – likely stuck in a drawer or briefcase. They are still in the same vicinity as the original copy. If the worst happens and you experience a fire or flood or worse then both your original and your copy are gone.
Backup your Home Office to the Cloud
When you backup your home office you need to follow the 3-2-1 Backup Rule and put that backup copy somewhere far away from the original files. The best spot for this these days is to backup to the cloud.
Our Cloud Backup runs on the award winning Acronis platform and keeps your backups in Canada in a secured colocation facility. You only pay for the backup disk space you need, starting at 25Gb for $9.95/month.
Backup all the right files
Once you have a proper backup in place you need to make sure you capture all the documents and data that are important.
By default (in Windows) a lot of your documents will be under your Documents folder, but don’t forget your desktop. Many people use their desktop has a file folder, be sure to include that.
Consider that other proprietary programs may use other folders. For example; Quickbooks files will not go under your Documents folder by default unless you specify that when you install. You will need to review what you have and find these other locations and make sure they are incuded in your backup.
What you don’t need to backup is your programs and the Windows operating system. Those programs will need to be reinstalled if you have a failure.
Another option is to backup the whole computer. This is sometimes called a bare metal backup. It will allow you purchase a new computer and re-image it like the old one; files, programs and all. Bear in mind this will take a lot more backup disk space and your cost is likely to go up.
Start this new year backed up!
Year end is when we think about what we will do differently next year.
Put “backup your home office” on your resolution list and however you do it, find an automated secure backup to the cloud so you are ready if something goes horribly wrong.