While it is prudent to create a World Backup Day to remind everyone to copy all your data, once a year is not really enough.
March 31st has been marked as World Backup Day – where proponents of safeguarding the Internet is pleading for people to pledge to backup all their data before April Fools – the day where nothing can be taken at face value.
Well, April Fools has come and gone without much incident or major hoaxes. Though the occasion serves as a warning that the joke will truly be on you when the proverbial hits the fan and you are not backed up.
In all seriousness, losing data hosted in the cloud is no laughing matter. The sheer statistics is appalling:
- More than 60 million computers will fail worldwide in 2013.
- Only 1 in 4 people back up their information regularly – that’s roughly 45 million times this year where files will be lost forever.
- Even worse – 113 cell phones are lost or stolen every minute in the United States alone.
Losing personal data is equivalent to forgetting a cherished memory. Imagine the scene of your child’s first steps / words, your graduation ceremony, wedding, post college road trip and other significant moments in your life that shaped who you are. Now imagine all that gone as you now have nothing to remember it by.
That is the worry of having your memories digitalized and stored in the cloud. These vivid vignettes of your life may be kept safe from the elements and misplacement but now it is under danger of getting electronically erased entirely. Personal items are priceless and there is no measure of sorrow for those mourning their loss.
Besides, risking losing a part of yourself due to personal errors, hackers, server failures and other data malfunctions, a business that is struck will be devastated as well. Business owners are often less likely to prioritize web security, including website backup.
According to Forbes, one in four business owners are not fully protected against cyber risks even though 65% of business owners believe that their websites are critical to their businesses.
Given the fact that 40% of cyber attacks are against companies with fewer than 500 employees, web security and website backups should be a high priority for all small and mid-size businesses.
Websites, databases and emails are lifelines of modern day businesses. A major company will suffer tremendously is suddenly these were to disappear into thin air. It will be a major embarrassment and perhaps a loss of revenue but they will likely live to fight another day.
However, small medium businesses and enterprises (SMEs / SMBs) will not have the chance. When a small outfit loses its website, its credibility is shot. When its databases collapses, everything that has been built up (contacts, images, invoices, etc) goes up in a puff of smoke. When business email correspondences are amiss, there will be no way to keep track of and in touch with suppliers or customers. The lifeline of millions of entrepreneurs, their staff and their families depend on common vulnerable technology.
Now you know the dangers and importance of data loss, backing up is easy. Once set up, your data should be backing up automatically. You just need to check every once in a while to make sure your backups actually work.
According to World Backup Day, there are three main types of backup solutions:
Every week, copy your most important files onto an external hard drive next to your desk, in your closet, or any other place where you can easily retrieve it.
You can even use Windows Backup (or Time Machine, if you have a Mac) to do this automatically!
Another automatic backup or an external hard drive that’s stashed at another location, such as a bank vault, friend’s house or even in a data center in another state. This protects your backup in case of theft, natural disaster or simple hardware failure.
Similar to an offsite backup, this automatically website, database, email backup to the Internet. This makes multiple copies of your files at various places around the world, making it hard to lose any of your files. It’s super simple and done instantly – you barely need to do anything!
However, your backups can be a little bit of a pain to retrieve though (it’s a lot of stuff you have to download!) so having this option in conjunction with one of the above is a good, secure plan.
Things to backup:
- Other electronic devices
- Photos and videos on social networks and other online services.
Ways your devices can fail and lose your data.
- Hardware failure
- Natural disaster
- Obsolete file formats
- You forgot where you put it
The key is to make multiple duplicates of your data – have a backup to back up your backup, just in case. The threats to your e-security are constant – the wise thing to do is to know that your data is precarious and backup often (if not daily).