If you’re like most business owners, your computer data backups are one of those things that you rarely pay attention to.
Backups are kind of like flossing your teeth and eating low-fat, high-fiber foods — everyone knows they’re supposed to do them, but how many really do these things regularly?!?
Unfortunately, when it comes to your backups, complacency can be very dangerous. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a local computer service company you can rely on for advice on selecting and maintaining your computer data backups. But, unless you’re prepared to put a full-time IT person on your company’s payroll, it’s important that you get some basic understanding of the major issues with backups.
Here’s a compilation of some crucial tips on backups that we’ve put together from nearly 10 years of helping businesses protect their valuable computer files.
Test your computer backups regularly and monitor their log files. To be effective, backups must be highly automated to ensure that jobs are launched consistently and correctly, but your backup system also needs to be watched over diligently to make sure it continues to function reliably.
Unfortunately, monitoring the backup system generally isn’t a priority until something goes wrong. By then, it’s too late.
People have a strong tendency, with a backup system, to set it and forget it. Automation clearly has many benefits, but a totally hands-off approach can be very dangerous if no one is overseeing your computer data backup process.
With Backup Systems, it’s important to test and test again. With any newly installed backup system, don’t assume everything works correctly right out of the box. Even more importantly, don’t take for granted that your backup system will continue working indefinitely. You need to periodically restore some folders and files from your backup media to validate that your backup system still works.
If your automated backup routine is configured to include a verify run with each backup job, monthly testing should be ample. However, if you have an extremely low tolerance for risk, you may want to simulate a sample restore job once a week.
If your small business depends greatly on its computer systems, backing up your data is not optional. And it is not something that can be casually brushed off, either.
Use these backup tips in this article to help you become a more IT-aware business owner. And remember, when it comes to backups and your business, it is essential to have a disaster recovery plan before disaster strikes.