It’s a new year – do you have any resolutions set? For many of us, that might be aiming to go the gym, picking up an instrument or learning a language. But let’s consider something else entirely: data backup. Okay, so it’s perhaps not the sexiest new year’s resolution around, but it’s hugely important. Can you imagine how awful your year would be if you got to the end of it and lost all your data – photos, videos, emails and more. It’s time to protect against that.
Resolution 1: Backup Your Data
It’s never been easier to backup your data. There are many different methods to choose from, whether it be physical or in the cloud. But the most important thing is that you have a backup somewhere. Your data is extremely vulnerable, susceptible to both logical and hardware errors. If there’s a natural disaster like a storm or fire, then your data could be lost. Same with a theft. It’s not worth the risk: invest in a backup solution and make it run regularly – daily, bi-daily or weekly depending on your needs.
Resolution 2: Protect the Backup with Redundancy
You’ve taken the first step of backing up your data – that’s great. But you need to consider redundancy. Although having one backup solution is good, it’s not impossible that both your source and backup could fail, leaving you without your data. This is especially true if your backup is in the same physical location as your primary storage. Consider using the cloud (like Google Drive or OneDrive) as a cheaper solution to offsite storage, but be sure to read privacy policies and be aware of the risk that brings.
Resolution 3: Regularly Check Backup Consistency
There have been many stories of companies running backup solutions, suffering a data loss, then finding that their backup solution hasn’t been working for months when they go to restore. Don’t let this happen to you. Check that your backups are working consistency – set a schedule and stick to it. Every week should be fine, but this will vary depending on the type of data you’re backing up and how much loss is manageable versus the time spent checking.
Resolution 4: Audit Your Data
Now that you’ve got your backup solution implemented, it’s time to look at auditing all your data. Depending on how long you’ve been collecting it for, you might be storing stuff that you no longer need. In an enterprise setting that might be less applicable, as many files will need to be kept for legal reasons, but it’s worth doing a sweep to see what can be ditched to save storage space (and thus backup space). Consider deduplication programs to remove data that exists multiple times.
Resolution 5: Know That Backup is Protection
You’re all set, but you need to always remember that backup is a line of defence. It isn’t intended as something you can always fall back on. Invest in strong security and maintain good data practices to ensure that you only have to rely on backups when disaster strikes.
New Year's Backup Resolutions for 2017
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