There’s an often-quoted saying in the IT world – ‘It’s not a backup until you can recover the files’.
We have lost count of the times customers have come to us for help recovering their data. Whilst we will usually do all we can to help, it is often the case that the hard drive of the computer in question has failed, making data recovery very difficult and/or expensive.
Some of the best advice we can give is to take regular backups of your data. Whether this is copying it to cloud storage or a removable drive, the more copies you have the easier it will be when the data gremlins strike. Cloud storage providers generally offer at least 2GB of free storage (Dropbox), whilst OneDrive offer 5GB and Google Drive offer 15GB. These plans are upgradable, and they can be combined with other products.
There is some debate as to whether cloud storage is really a backup solution, but they do now generally store up to 30 previous versions of each file, which helps if you’ve accidentally overwritten an important file.
USB removable drives are now a cheap way to keep an offline backup of your files. You can pick up a 256GB drive for less than £25. One advantage of an offline backup is that should your cloud storage account get compromised and your files deleted or encrypted, you have a backup to go back to. If you use multiple drives it’s also a handy way to maintain an offsite backup in another location as well, just in case. The downside is remembering to take a regular backup.
Check your backups!
It should go without saying, but occasionally check that you can actually restore files from your backup. As we said at the top, it’s not a backup until you can recover the files.
Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
For small businesses, it’s easy to underestimate how important your files are, and taking backups of your data often feels like an annoying distraction. Does ‘I haven’t got time today, I’ll do it next week’ sound familiar? What would happen if you lost your files? How would you rebuild the business? We can offer some guidance on protecting and restoring your files.
Feel free to get in touch if you would like any advice.