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The Importance of Backing Up Your Data (Backup Your Data!!)

Backup Your Data!!

If you are reading this, go back and read the title a thousand times until it really sinks in.

BACKUP YOUR DATA!

Just this week, we have worked with many new clients who have had their hard drives fail, their data fall victim to ransomware, or their computers stolen. None of them had a concrete backup plan in place in order to prepare for this.  Of course, the vast majority of our current clients do have redundant on-premises as well as managed, secured off-site backup solutions in place at our recommendation.

Here is what you need to do:

1.  Back up all of your data automatically backed up to a an external USB hard drive. You can setup a automatic backup via the free program “Backup and Restore”. This program is built-in to Windows so there is often no need to download anything special. The program itself is quite self-explanatory. Once you have connected your USB hard drive to your computer, open this program and create a simple backup routine. Not only will the standard user profile folder (Desktop, Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc.) be included, but a whole system image will also be created. In the event of your main hard drive failing, this image file would allow you to revive the Windows installation to a new drive and use your computer as if nothing ever happened.

2.  While this free option is great, there are some major benefits to using a paid-for image-backup program. We recommend using Acronis Backup & Recovery. This program allows you to create a backup image of the PC and even restore it to any other computer, even if the hardware is totally different (an option not available with Windows Backup & Restore). If you need help setting up this program, we are there to help!

3.  Local backup, as described above, is what anybody should have at minimum. Unfortunately with the sophisticated ransomware viruses out today, local backup is just not good enough. Once infected, the viruses will often spread to USB connected hard drives and encrypt all of the data, rendering it useless. To really secure yourself, you need to backup your data to the cloud with a service that offers versioning. This feature allows the user to restore data by going back in time, even if the data has been compromised by ransomware. There are many different online backup services available, and one should do their research before committing to any.

If you are using just a singular computer for personal use, the above advice should be sufficient. For a business though, we recommend that all data be stored on a company file server. This allows data to be easily managed by backup and more quickly restored if needed.

With a local and cloud backup plan in place, you can sleep at night knowing that your personal and/or business data is safe in the event of an emergency. Nothing is worse than coming into work and finding out that years/decades of your personal data or business records have been essentially wiped from existence. Do not let this happen to you!

by:  Mekkel Richards

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