At JC Sweet & Co., computers are important. We use them all day, everyday. As a business, it’s important for us to have a plan implemented if our computers ever fail us (aka if they crash). This article found on Entrepreneur, has useful information and tips on how to protect your computer and your work.
Here are seven easy to implement tips to prevent a computer crash crisis.
1. Keep critical files on a cloud-based hard drive.
This will create and almost real-time offsite backup for your critical files. I prefer DropBox because I feel they don’t profit as much as Google from indexing and sending advertisements based on personal data. Have you ever tried to store an encrypted file on GoogleDrive? It rejects it. This is because Google makes money reading your data. I spend the $99 for DropBox. It’s easy to use, and I feel more private.
2. Have a local computer backup solution.
On the Mac, this is a no brainer. Buy an external hard drive, plug it in, and use Apple’s built in Time Machine solution. This works amazingly well. If you’re on a Windows 10 machine, have a look at Windows File History and Windows Backup and Restore solutions. These are bare-boned and basic, but they also work very well. For Windows users, take a look at an article by LifeHacker that walks you through it.
3. Have an offsite computer backup solution.
What happens if your computer and external hard drives are stolen, burned or something similar. You’ve still lost all your data because the computer and backup drive are in the same location. This is why you should have an offsite backup solution. I personally use BackBlaze. I tested the various solutions and found them to be the best. They have awesome customers service too.
4. You should have virus protection on both your Mac and your PC.
I use Sophos Personal for my personal machines and Sophos Business for my company computers. It works very quietly in the background. It’s also free for personal machines. I pay for my work machines and no, I’m not receiving any payments for promotion. I never really know this is working, and it never gets in my way. Once in a while, it will give an alert about suspicious activity, but it’s very rare.
5. Ensure you have a modern router and all your firmware is up-to-date.
This is very important. Most people install their routers and just forget about them. It’s nice not to think about them, I get it. But, once a month or once a quarter, log into your router, and ensure you have the latest firmware/software updates. In most cases, these updates will add security features and increase performance. It takes just a couple minutes and is usually a breeze to complete.
6. Ensure all the steps above are active for each computer in your office.
If you have more than 10 computers in your office, it’s probably time to think about a Network Attached Storage (NAS) solution for local physical backups. Otherwise, you’re going to manage a whole bunch of drives. It’s up to you. But you should still have offsite backups, cloud drive storage for critical files and virus protection for each computer.
7. During your annual strategy meeting, audit your computer backup solution.
Don’t spend much time on it. Just ensure everything is up to date and running well.
The trick to preventing a data loss crisis is to keep it simple and redundant. I am not an IT expert, but I was an engineer at Apple before building business strategy simulations at Simulation Studios. I believe in keeping solutions simple and redundant. These basic tips will get you started.