Agencies store important information most commonly on a hard drive, rather than in a file cabinet these days. Offsite backup could be exactly what your agency needs, if you’ve had concerns about how secure your data really is.

I recently ran across an article that provided the top five myths of backup:

  • Nothing will happen to my files.
  • USB drives are my only solution.
  • My computer’s drive (with all my data on it) will not fail.
  • A backup is too technical for me to figure out.
  • A backup is too time consuming to be a viable option.

I found this very interesting because they could also be considered the top five reasons to get a powerful backup solution for your data.

Myth 1: The first myth is believing nothing will happen to your files. A brand new computer in great condition has no worries right? Well, laptops are actually the prime target for theft in airports and on campuses. It is important to remember that these computers could easily be swiped, and even for desktop computers, you only have to remove a few cords to carry it off.

Myth 2: The second myth is believing that USB drives are your only answer. Many businesses use portable USB drives for transferring and storing important information. The downside to this is USB drives can hold only a limited amount of data, though it is true that they are very portable and small. USB drives can easily be lost or washed in the laundry due to their small size. The USB drive is just not a viable option for protecting a normal amount of data.

Myth 3: The third myth is depending on the reliability of your computer’s hard drive just because it came on your computer from the factory. The truth is that most hard drives can be a bit unpredictable. It is not unusual to have a hard drive that lasts years; then once replaced, it immediately has bad sectors and fails. It could also fail due to power spikes in the area or even something as simple as jarring it a bit too hard. The data in a failed hard drive is most often unrecoverable, so this is not a viable and reliable method for protecting your information.

Myth 4: The next backup myth is relying on an onsite backup that you perform regularly. It is not that hard to save images of your information regularly, and onsite backup even does a good job of it, depending on your software. The bad thing about this sort of backup is that you have to manually control it and micromanage the data. I am sure most of us, though we value our data greatly, are not quite willing to dedicate a large amount of time to overseeing the backup of their information and doing it regularly without fail. It wouldn’t be a completely bad idea to use this process, but if we factor in the limited lifespan of hard drives, as well as having to micromanage the backup function ourselves, it is obvious that we want to find a better path.

Myth 5: The last myth is actually believing that having a daily backup is too difficult to manage. There are programs that entirely automate the task of daily backups! It is a simple process once you set it up.

Really, what you need is a good multilayer protection of onsite and offsite backup. For example, if your office is flooded or damaged by fire, then that careful backup you have kept onsite is still subject to the problems happening in your local area. This is where the off-site backup really shines. A good offsite method of backup, along with an onsite backup will offer two separate places to store sensitive data. The data onsite will be readily available, and the offsite storage will be there for the more critical problems you might run into as a agency owner. I believe we all owe it to ourselves to protect our clients.