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How Safe is Your Data?

I am constantly surprised by how casual so many people are regarding backing up their data. In my dealings with individuals and small businesses, one of the first questions I ask will be about data backups and time and again I find that not only is there not a backup process in place, but that they haven’t even really thought about it. Often I find people have their data scattered all over the place, often with most of the data on their PC, some on a USB stick and some maybe on an external hard drive that was purchased with good intentions, but still without a proper backup strategy in place. Losing all this data could be catastrophic for a business but sadly in my experience it just isn’t given the necessary weight of importance.

In this day of cheap storage and fast internet access there is no longer a good reason not to have at least both a local backup and a cloud backup of everything that is important to them. This applies as much to individuals at home as it does to businesses. Without thinking about backups it is easy for people to end up with documents, photos and videos spread across multiple devices, perhaps with some syncing to Google Photos, others to OneDrive and others not syncing at all. People just haven’t thought about it and simply just turn on and use.

One of the worse offenders I see is the classic small business network where maybe you have 3 staff in an office each with their own PC and no central data storage.

  1. We’ve got Maggie who does the accounts and she has lots of spreadsheets and invoices in her ‘My Documents’ and other important stuff on her ‘Desktop’
  2. Then we’ve got Jon, he’s the boss and he stores all his files on his desktop and regularly copies stuff to his USB pen drive to work on at home. He also needs access to some of Maggie’s files so she leaves her PC on 24/7 so that Jon can get to the files over the network. Jon is often trying to work out which file is the latest version.
  3. And we have Steph, she does a bit of everything and has some IT knowledge. Her files are organised better and she thought it sensible to buy an external hard drive. From time to time, when she remembers, she manually copies files from her documents to the external drive, but she hasn’t done it for a couple of months.

When I see this sort of thing it is obviously screaming out for change. As well as looking at the actual network, how data is shared, where it is stored and how it could be accessed from home etc, it desperately needs a backup strategy.

Hard drives fail ….I’ve seen it a hundred times. For no reason whatsoever, one day they just start making an ominous clicking noise and bang, your data is gone, or at least some of it will be. I’ve also seen flood and theft. One company I worked with lost all their equipment when a water tank in the loft space burst. Another company had a burglar enter that stole everything. I’ve not encountered a fire, but of course it could happen. Without your data stored offsite somewhere, would your business survive a complete loss of all equipment and data?

Get in touch with us and we can look at your network and backup strategy and advise you on the best approach to keep your data safe. There are loads of cost effective, automated solutions that can be implemented that will backup just files that have changed and that keep a full version history, so even if you don’t lose a file, you can go back to the version of it from a previous point of time.If appropriate, we can also look at backing up whole PCs into images so that in a disaster it would be simple to restore the whole PC to a new machine.

You simply cannot afford not to at least consider what would happen in a disaster. Speak to us for some advice today. We can offer network and backup advice 

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Vovi IT Services, Aberystwyth

Vovi IT Services, Aberystwyth