There’s that sinking feeling in your stomach when you lose a file that you needed. You know the one, the feeling that you’re going to have to recreate a massive load of work that is going to cost you time, money and resources. Whether it’s because you spill coffee on your laptop, a file disappears for seemingly no reason or you delete something that you shouldn’t have, if you don’t have a backup then you’re going to be in some serious trouble.
Of course, the worst part is that it all could’ve been avoided if you backed up your content properly. Even though we all know this, somehow we still manage not to do it. Even when we get burned, we go right back to the same bad habits.
That’s why there’s World Backup Day. It’s a gentle reminder to backup your files so that you don’t get burned.
What is World Backup Day?
World Backup Day is an initiative that started in 2011 to help spread the word about the importance of backing up data so it doesn’t get lost. Companies that sell products and services for backing up files got together to create a day of awareness. The idea isn’t just to promote products, it also addresses a real problem that we all face in the technology era.
The focus of this day is all about education. It genuinely doesn’t matter which method you use to backup your data, it just matters that you do it.
One of the really cool aspects of World Backup Day is that it’s all about preserving the digital heritage of our shared culture. Yes, backing up your business data is incredibly important to keep you out of trouble, but our digital lives are our real lives today. World Backup Day is about archiving and maintaining your digital footprint for the future.
“We all know someone who has lost critical data, whether it was their videos, photos, music, book reports, or personal stuff. Hopefully this day will make everyone think about their situation, learn about the various options and get their files backed up. I hope that World Backup Day sparks conversations about the enormous task of saving our digital heritage for future generations.” – Ismail Jadun, Founder of World Backup Day
Why backing up data is important for businesses
You might feel like your business data is secure, but is it? We tend to just assume that files will be there for us when we need them, but that’s not the case. It’s not until catastrophe happens that a business finds out how important those documents are.
As a business, you’re holding onto sensitive information like:
- Financial documents
- Personal employee information
- Business plans
- Client information
- Tax information
When this information gets lost or destroyed, it’s a big issue. Should your HR department’s computer dump your employee files, you’re going to be in major trouble. Or if your office gets flooded and you lose your business plans or client information, you’ll find yourself lost without contacts.
Lost data equals missed deadlines, lost revenue and wasted manpower.
Not convinced yet? Here are some sobering statistics from the World Backup Day organization:
- One in three people have never backed up their files.
- More than a hundred smartphones are stolen every minute.
- 10% of computers are infected with viruses every month
Disasters like fires, floods and hurricanes affect business. If your office were destroyed in a fire, would you be able to keep working without backup data? In the event of a crisis, backup data allows you to keep working.
Have a plan in place
You need to have a plan for backing up your data. Odds are on that you don’t. Even large corporations make serious mistakes by neglecting to backup their data.
First off, you need to determine what kinds of information needs to be backed up. Not everything deserves to be saved, and some things can be trashed after their usefulness has elapsed. Do a data audit of your business to determine what kinds of information are vital and need to be backed up and at what intervals. Creative files might be kept for a long time, whereas internal memos might not need to be backed up as they’ve been widely circulated. Financial information will need to be backed up in a more secure fashion than other information.
Whatever you decide as far as what to backup, you need to have a plan to back up your information regularly. A good idea is to take inspiration for World Backup Day and backup your files on the last day of every month.
This isn’t just a plan for you though, it’s a plan for all of your employees. This topic is well worth a meeting and a page in your best practices manual. No matter how large or small your business is, and not matter what niche you’re in, backing up your data is critically important. Have a plan!
How to backup your data
You can backup your data either offline or online.
Offline backups involve hooking your data up to a USB port and either putting it on a USB drive or putting it on an external hard drive. Of course the issue here is that you need to keep these either in a safe onsite or offsite in order ensure that they’re safe from any physical harm that might befall your physical office. These devices have the potential for failure or becoming obsolete – anyone remember backing up data on floppy drives?However, physical backup up through the USB method is valid and can be powerful. You can purchase high storage USB drives or easy to use external hard drives from any tech source.
Online backups are incredibly popular today because it’s easy and can be automatic. Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and Amazon Web Services are all online services where you can store files in the cloud. The biggest issue here is that these methods have limitations in terms of storage and you often have to pay for them. Should you stop paying, your backups are going to stop.
It doesn’t matter how you’re backing up your data, what matters is that you do it! World Backup Day is a great reminder to all of us to take the time to back up our information and to prevent future disaster.
Does your business backup files physically or in the cloud? Which service do you use? Let us know in the comments!