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Be prepared: talk to your IT provider about backup

When you’re a business owner or self-employed, your computer(s) are crucial to how you you earn a living. You’ve a lot to manage with your business, let alone worrying about backup and how you might recover from a disaster or computer failure.

That’s why you have an IT person, right? But it also helps to understand what you want your IT person to do.

Backing up your computer is usually pretty straightforward. The first step is to know that your computer has a hard disk and it’s sometimes called “primary storage”. You need to back this up by making another copy of that disk’s contents.

The easiest way to back up your computer is to use an external hard drive, or one that directly attaches via cable to your computer. Your operating system likely has some tools to help you back up your data and there are many software packages available that can help you manage your backups, too.

There are also different types of external hard drives, and this is where a little bit of extra knowledge and discussion with your IT provider can go a long way toward protecting those files on your computer.

Here are three points to cover with your IT provider:

1. Setting up a simple backup routine. Has a backup routine been set up for your business? Do you know what it is and how to make sure it’s running?

2. Routinely copying your files. How often are your computers backed up? What’s the most damage that can happen to your business if a computer crashes or is hacked? Is a copy of your data kept offsite in case your business is flooded or destroyed by fire?

3. Planning for more backup storage. Make sure your backup routines account for data growth. If you’re like everyone else, you can figure your data will nearly double every year.

In addition to these key points, here’s some questions to ask during this conversation:

* What happens if my backup disks and files are stolen or lost? How exposed is my business?

* What’s the best way to recover my files if my computer crashes? How long will that take?

* How many backups should I have?

* Where should I store my backups?

You can learn more about small business backup here. Or drop us a line. We’ll be happy to talk with you.