The Anatomy of a Great Data Backup

Part 2 of our Data Privacy Day series. Do you have a reliable data backup plan? Here are 5 elements to look for when choosing a data backup program.
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Written by Staff Writer • Posted on Jan 27, 2016

January 28th is Data Privacy Day! Learn more about data privacy --> here.

So you've read all the warnings about hackers, viruses, and the occasional coffee spill on a laptop. You know you need a good data backup plan to protect your personal files and documents. You start a search to find the perfect program, only to discover that there are a lot of different options available. And you start to wonderust how are you supposed to discern which backup is the best for you?

When picking a data backup plan, there are several elements to keep in mind. When they're all put together, you have the anatomy of a great data backup. Keep this list of 5 elements close while searching, and you will find a great plan to keep your information safe.

1: More than One Location

There are different ways to back up your data. The most common methods include local networks, external drives, and online clouds. While all of these methods have their own advantages and disadvantages, the best plan includes copies that are secured in different places.

For example, if you back up all your files onto an external drive that you keep in a drawer near your computer, what happens if the room catches fire? Not only will your computer be consumed, so will your backup drive. Online cloud backups solve this problem quite nicely. But no matter which method you use, make sure there is a copy in more than one location.

2: Regularly Scheduled Backups

Backups are only useful if they contain the information you need. If you backup on an irregular basis, chances are you won't have the files you need if your system goes down. The backup from 6 months ago will do you little good if the project you were working on was created last week.

For this reason, make sure that your backup program schedules regular backups. The best have automated backups so there is no question about whether or not they are happening. Your backup calendar should include full and partial backups (i.e. documents that have been altered since the last backup). Remember, data backup works by syncingo don't delete files from your computer that you want to keep backed up!

3: Tiered Information

Your backup program should give you the opportunity to prioritize or tier your information. Not only will this determine how often certain files and folders are backed up, it will also have a big influence on the order that your information is restored if you experience data loss.

A general rule of thumb is designating the files you use every day as your top priority, with data you access occasionally as the medium priority. The lowest priority (meaning, the information backed up least frequently and the last part of any restore) should be archival data that is rarely used.

4: Exceptional Security

It is highly likely that some of the information on your system is sensitive. This can include anything from financial information to family communication. The last thing you want is for your documents to fall into the wrong hands.

There are several components to exceptional backup security, including

  • Strong authentication credentials: Credentials that establish trust should be required between the backup client (your system) and the backup server (the program). It should not be possible for a random party to access your system or your backup.
  • Secure transport: Whether your information is traveling through the cloud or on a truck, you want the oadways to be reliable and secure. You don't want a hacker grabbing your data through an unprotected connection or your files disappearing in transit.
  • Tiered access: Your backup system should have different levels of access, from admin accounts on down. Carefully consider who should have access to an admin account. Others should only be given access to the parts deemed necessary for them.
  • Encryption: Whether your information is sitting in a warehouse or in the cloud, it is wise to make sure all data is encrypted. This way, even if an outside party gained access to the files, they would not be able to read the information. Our Data Backup program uses military-grade encryption to make sure all your information remains secure.

5: Strong Support

When you have a problem, the last thing you want to do is wait. You want a team that is going to work quickly to get your data restored. High reliability ratings are a must, so take online reviews into account. At Bask, we put a Connect icon directly on your desktop, so if you experience a problem, all you have to do is click the button to get connected.

A great data backup will provide you with peace of mind, knowing that all of your important files and folders are protected. If you double-check these 5 elements, you should be able to make a confident choice that will guard against heartache down the road. Be smart, be safe!

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