In today’s technology driven world, data is everything. The data stored in your phone, computer, and internet accounts is a vital part of your business success. Losing this information would be disastrous. Without your files, databases, contacts and e-mails, your business would grind to a halt. Taking the proper precautions can help you mitigate the risk of losing your data and ensure that you don’t lose hundreds or thousands of dollars worth of work in the event of data loss.

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Hard drives have an expiration date. Despite all the faith we put into digital storage, every type of device used today will fail after a few years of regular use. Standard desktop drives, for example, have about a 10% annual failure rate after the 3rd year. Flash storage is only good for a certain number of reads and writes. Web storage is even less reliable — not only is it subject to the failings of whatever physical media the data is stored on, you’re also vulnerable to the company going bankrupt or losing your information. You have very little control over any of these factors. The only thing that you can do to protect yourself is to make regular backups of important data and keep them safe.

One of the most difficult things about making backups is locating all of your important data. These days, technology is so integrated into our daily lives that we hardly think about using it. It’s common to have a vital e-mail lists and small documents on your phone, important work-in-progress on your desktop, and databases stored on a server. It’s easy to forget about one or more of these sources of data when performing your backups, even though dropping your phone in the pool can erase just as much valuable information as your computer’s hard drive failing. Using an automated backup solution can help you ensure that all of your data stays safe, no matter where it’s stored.

There are a number of 3rd party backup solutions on the market today. If you’re unable or unwilling to automate backing up multiple devices yourself, these programs can help to set up regular, safe backups to secure cloud servers with the touch of a button. Our recommendation is to choose Acronis Backup. Specially targeted at small business environments, it’s designed to be as simple and easy to use as possible. Acronis eschews complex systems in favor of simple, single pass backups that ensure that you can restore every file on your computer, no matter what. Acronis’ data protection services are designed to work with servers, virtual machines and business devices as well as regular computers.

Whatever backup solution you choose to go with, ensure that you keep track of where you’re actually backing your data up to. Make sure that your backup goes to a safe, secure place that’s separated from the data itself. Saving two copies of your work on the same hard drive won’t do you much good if the drive fails, while having all of your hard drives in the same physical space leaves you vulnerable to an office fire. 3rd party solutions like Acronis offer the option to save your data to the cloud in addition to a physical backup, giving you another layer of security. Make sure you don’t rely on this too heavily — a set of up-to-date, physical backups is still necessary in the event of an internet outage.

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