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How to Backup Data, and Why You Should Backup up Your Data Regularly

published 10/7/2020

According to studies, 60 percent of small businesses that suffer some sort of data loss close down within 6 months. And when you push the date out to 24 months, 72 percent of those businesses are gone.

Data loss has a huge impact on businesses and personal data alike so you must protect yourself with a good backup plan. Let's look at why you need to backup data regularly and how to do it.

5 Reasons You Need to Back Up Your Data

Backing up your data isn't the most exciting job in the world. And if everything is running smoothly, it can seem like a waste of time.

But it's like insurance. When you need it, you'll sure be glad you have it. In case you need convincing, here are the top 5 reasons to back up your data regularly.

1. Protect Yourself Against Data Loss

We already pointed out that between 60 and 72 percent of small businesses that suffer data loss go out of business as a result. But why is that?

Think about all the information you have stored on your computers and storage devices:

  • Sales data
  • Customer information
  • Accounting history
  • Business operation details
  • Policies and procedures

And in the case of personal information:

  • Photos
  • Music
  • Tax records
  • Family info

And the list could go on. What would you do if you lost all that information? Could you rebuild it from scratch?

If you have an up-to-date backup, you won't have to.

2. Creates an Archive and Audit Trail

Having a backup also lets you refer back to earlier versions of files and data if you need to. In some industries, there could be regulations about audit trails and data retention.

You could also face a lawsuit at some point and need to refer back to earlier information to build your case.

3. Recover from Problems Quickly

If you have a hardware failure or some other activity that causes a loss of data, having a backup lets you get up and running quickly.

Replace the failing hardware or fix the problem, restore your data from the backup, and you're back where you left off. You can do this in a matter of hours rather than days or weeks if you have to rebuild everything from square one.

4. Reduce Costs Due to Downtime

This benefit goes hand-in-hand with getting back up and running quickly. You'll save money.

Every hour and day that your system is down means lost revenue and lost customers. The faster you can get things back on track, the less impact it will have on your business.

5. Peace of Mind

This is hard to quantify but having an up-to-date backup provides peace of mind. You won't need to stress over "what if" scenarios because you know your data is safe.

How to Backup Data

There are two main types of data backups:

  1. Archive
  2. Clone

Archive Backups vs Clone Backups

An archive backup saves a copy of all the data on your computer but typically doesn't include the operating system and applications since you can reinstall those from the original sources.

The first time you do an archive backup, all your files and data will get saved to the backup. From that point forward, only new or modified files get backed up. This reduces the amount of storage required while still ensuring everything gets saved and needs less time to run the subsequent backups.

A clone backup is a mirror image of everything on your computer. Everything from the operating system to the files you have saved gets backed up to another drive that is a clone of the boot drive.

A clone backup takes longer to run since everything on your computer gets saved every time, whether it changed or not. But a clone backup lets you get up and running faster than any other option.

Connect the backup, reboot from the clone drive, and you're right back to where you left off.

Cloud Data Backup Services

Cloud backup services back your data up to their servers over the internet. They run in the background on your computer and continuously upload any new or changed files.

A cloud backup has both advantages and disadvantages. Its biggest advantages are that it's automatic and offsite. We'll talk about why those are important in a moment.

The main disadvantage of cloud data backup and recovery is the time it takes. Because everything has to get transferred over the internet, it's at the mercy of your connection speed.

Even the fastest connections can take days or weeks to upload and download all your data. Restoring files from the cloud is fine for a small number but it's not very efficient if you have to restore everything.

Off-Site Backup

Having an offsite backup is important because it adds a layer of protection. If your backup is sitting on the desk next to your computer and your house or office goes up in flames, your backup goes up with it.

Use a cloud backup service or store one of your backups somewhere offsite like a safety deposit box.

Automation

Backing up your data is important but if you have to do it manually, it's an easy task to procrastinate on. And if something goes wrong between backups, you could be in trouble.

An effective backup system should be completely automated so it runs whether you remember to do it or not. Cloud backup is perfect for this but most backup applications include automatic scheduling features as well.

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late

You have to create and implement a plan to backup data before you run into problems. If you lose your data without a current backup, it's too late to do anything about it.

Hopefully, you're not in that situation but if you are, Data Doctors can help. With our data recovery service, we'll do everything we can to restore your data even if you don't have a proper backup.

Get in touch with us today to learn more. And be sure to check out our other free help articles for assistance with all kinds of computer and tech-related issues.