Planning For Failure | Managing Your IT

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Planning for Failure

If you run a business, then you should know the importance of securely backing up any crucial data such as emails and data files. In this article, our IT support associate, Hindsight-IT explains the importance of data backup and how to plan for failure if the worst case scenario ever does happen.

Most small businesses and home workers use IT as in integral part of their business, often without realizing how much they rely on certain aspects of IT.

Imagine just 1 day without access to your Email or the Internet, do you rely on your website to bring in new business – how long could your website and/or email be unavailable before it has a serious impact on your business?

As a small business it is important you understand what can go wrong, and how you can prepare for failings and recover from them quickly – below I have included some guidelines:

Local Data Backup and Recovery:

Do you back up your data? If so, how often and where do you store the backup? It is advisable that key data is backed up on a daily basis, with non essential data backed up weekly. If the Data is backed up “Locally” i.e. to a Memory Stick or External Hard Disk Drive where is this stored when the backup is completed?

We recommend a mixture of “Local” Backups paired up with a Remote, Offsite Backup which runs 24/7 and stores all your essential data offsite.

Email:

Do you rely on “Web Based” email services such as Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail? If the provider suddenly decided to limit your access, close down your account or delete your data what can you do to effect a successful recovery of that data – the simple answer is “Not a Lot”

Email for business should be utilized at the very least using the POP3 System, which means that emails are stored LOCALLY on your PC and therefore available to you 24/7 or, ideally, you should consider the Microsoft Exchange Service for synchronization between devices and automatic backup.

Website:

Is your Domain Name registered to you, your business or your Website Designer?

Many people who ask their website developer to register a website for them (domain name) do not realize that the developer can (and often will) register the domain name under there own personal details. This effectively makes THEM the owner of the domain, and not YOU. If that developer then disappears, or ceases trading, you will struggle to get control of that domain name and prove that it was, in fact, yours all along. Simple Checks can be made to find out the owner of a Domain Name using the “Whois” System, and it is important you check ownership and rectify any incorrect information before it becomes a problem.

How often is your website backed up?

If you website uses a CMS such as Joomla, WordPress, Drupal or Magento (to name a few) your site is at risk of being “Hacked” thereore it is important to have regular (daily ideally) backups of your website in case the site should become unavailable due to foul play, or simply a dispute or failure on your developer or hosting company’s part.

Most businesses have paid well in excess of £500 for their website, and assume that it is on the internet, and will always be there – this is simply not the case and without a backup of your site you could easily be left with nothing and have to pay to get a new site built as well as suffer the downtime while this is being completed (often a number of months!)

Businesses do not often consider that the risks above could affect them – but the truth is every small business is at risk from systems failure, malicious deletion or their developer/hosting provider ceasing business or just “Disappearing”.

When asked, many small businesses who have suffered these kind of problems have said that “In Hindsight, they would have done more sooner to protect their Data and Intellectual Property”

With HindSight-IT you can! Contact HindSight IT for a Consultation and find out how you can protect your data, email and website and ensure that you have a chance of recovering should the worst happen.

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