Are You Making This Mistake?

Technology is a wonderful thing…..when it works. We live in a highly technical society. We communicate differently than we did 10, 20, and 30 years ago. Skype, text, and social media seem to be the methods of choice for today’s tech savvy folks. My kids may never understand the sound of accomplishment that comes from moving the carriage on a typewriter after the completion of a well-penned line. They may also never see piles and piles of paperwork that are required for document retention. That problem is solved with the aid of computers.

Many people make the mistake of using their personal and business computers to save important documents as their sole means of storing valuable data. While using an accessible computer is certainly an easy solution, it should be noted that computers do fail.

What would you do if your computer’s hard drive crashed today? Would you have the necessary data to get back up and running in a reasonable timeframe? While the thought of losing music and pictures will sting, losing important personal and business documents could be devastating.

Small business owners are especially at risk. Those of you who use accounting software, such as Quickbooks, are walking a tight rope if your data is not backed up. Ask yourself this question: what would I do if my hard drive failed? The risk of losing data is very serious and very real.

The good news is the solution is usually pretty simple…..back up data to a SECURE off-site facility. Just like flat-screen TVs, off-sight data storage is getting less expensive. There are many options to choose from. Companies such as Crashplan, Mozy, Carbonite, Sharefile, I-Cloud, and many others are inexpensive ways to secure your data. Note: Due diligence is required on your part to make sure that the back-up chosen meets the security requirements of your industry, if you are backing up business documents.

What to look for

1. Storage Space
How much data do you intend to back up? Music and pictures can eat up a great deal of space, so make sure you know how much you need before you start the search.

2. Security
This is extremely important for sensitive data, such as tax returns. Again, due diligence is required to make sure the site you chose has the right amount of security to protect your documents.

3. Complexity
How hard is it to retrieve data? If you are technically challenged, then make sure you can easily acquire and retrieve your data without calling customer service. Some providers as quite simple and others are more complex.

4. Price
Obviously, price is a big part of the decision, but make sure you compare from an apples to apples standpoint. You must factor in items 1-3 into the price situation to make a solid decision.

In our crazy high-tech world, data is king. Many of us can put the data of our entire financial lives on a thumb drive the size of a fingernail. It’s staggering the power of technology, but we must respect the fact that technology does sometimes fail. So, don’t rely simply on your computer to store all of your information. Take the time to set up proper back-up protocol and secure your data. You’ll sleep better as a result!

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