Y’all know how the dentist constantly harps on for not flossing your teeth? You know you should but you just never get around to it until your gums start peeling like wallpaper in a haunted mansion. We techie people are like your dentist. We tend to be hypersensitive about regular backups. Nary a day goes by that some client begs us to resuscitate their data. Sometimes we can. Sometimes we cannot. It pains us to tell them their stuff is gone forever.
A nightmare descended upon a client of ours last weekend. Despite being a very successful company, they were reluctant to spend a few hundred dollars to protect their most valuable data. They will likely lose tens of thousands of dollars in lost revenue.
To give them credit, our customer was actually doing much more to protect their data than many of our clients: They were backing up their data on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the backups were stored on an external drive attached to their file server. This server contained all their financial data and thousands of invaluable digital drawings. Some of the valuable stuff was stored in individual computers located throughout the office.
Unfortunately, thieves entered in the middle of the night and stole their computers--all of them. The computers. Their data. Their backup drives. It all disappeared like a ghost in the fog. No amount of prayer and repentance will ever get it back. Of course they had insurance for the stolen hardware but they didn’t heed our warnings about disaster prevention and the importance of off-site backups.
Both readers of my stuff? You must ask yourself this question: What would you do if all your data, all those pictures of family vacations, kids and grandkids, all those hours poured into that presentation, your memoirs, your nearly-complete book, all of it; what if it disappeared tomorrow? You business people who have valuable customer lists, accounting data, quotes, invoices; what would happen if your building burned down or a tornado paid you a visit? What would happen if your computers were stolen? If that thought makes you a bit ill, you need to take control. Right now.
It is easy enough to back up your critical data to a blank DVD and take that copy home with you periodically. External hard drives come with idiot-proof backup software and cost less than $100. Buy two of them, make two backups and take one of them home with you. My company provides automatic backups that transmit your data over the internet to a monstrous computer located in our office. Many of you claim you just don’t know how. Sorry, that doesn’t cut it. Ample help is available to you in the form of help files on your computer, tutorials on the internet and, of course, yours truly here. I’m just a phone call away and will be happy to assist you. Don’t forget to floss!