Backing up our data – we all know we should be doing this regularly to keep our work and digital memories safe. Our lives have been mostly digitised in the past 20-30 years, so the majority of our studies, work, photographs and files are all stored on digital media.
Modern technology and software makes it extremely easy to back up our files and in many cases, our devices can be configured to automatically copy files to an online backup service (OneDrive, iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox etc) so why do so many individuals fail to back up their files?!
There are a myriad of modern digital risks that threaten our private lives and our businesses. Backing up your data is one of the most straightforward tasks you can do to protect yourself from the unthinkable.
If you’ve had a niggling voice in the back of your head telling you to backup your files but you haven’t done it yet, this is your sign to protect your work and your livelihood.
So, go and back up your files today 😉
1. Avoid Reputational Damage to your Business
Incidents of data loss must be reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), which is a public body who report to the public.
Incidents and reports of data loss or data breeches may be published on their website. Local journalists or citizens will be able to see if companies have been negligent with their data. Bad news travels fast. The larger your organisation, the faster the news will travel. If your company becomes the subject of industry gossip as the result of a data loss incident, the negative publicity can damage your business reputation permanently.
Some end up spending hundreds of thousands of pounds repairing their brand after a data loss event. Don’t let this be you!
2. Data Protection and GDPR
It’s not just reputational damage – it’s the law. High-level international legislation exists for this exact reason – to protect individual’s personal and sensitive data.
Companies, Government bodies and organisations hold lots of data on individuals, and lots of harm can be done if that data falls into the wrong hands. Individuals can become victims of crime such as fraud, harassment and identity theft through companies mishandling their data.
The ICO have the power to issue extremely large fines, often amounting to 6 or 7 figures, which could quite literally put someone out of business and leave them with a criminal record – ouch!
3. Prevent Business Stoppage Time
The last thing any business wants to do right now, during an ongoing global pandemic would be to close its doors due to data loss.
So many businesses are completely reliant on digital services, even the world’s biggest businesses are not immune. Facebook suffered a large outage in October 2021 which brought down Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus and many other related services.
During this time, customers could not access the platform at all. Facebook essentially had its doors closed due to a complex technical issue affecting their entire network. They weren’t able to serve any of their users, leading everyone to their competitors.
4. Reduce Financial Loss
Still on the topic of the Facebook outage, it’s reported that Facebook lost $65 million as a result. This may seem insignificant for a company such as Facebook, but for a small business in a pandemic, any financial loss is a great one.
Taking into account the stoppage time, closing your doors, potential ICO fines, data security must be taken seriously.
5. Malware is on the rise
Malware, viruses and ransomware are still rampant. Computer viruses have been a threat ever since Personal Computers became commercially available. Unfortunately, cybercriminals are more sophisticated these days, with advanced attacks ranging from phishing emails and text messages to advanced malicious software.
Backing up your data alone won’t protect you from malware, you need to also consider:
- Firewalls and network security
- Strong and unique passwords that you don’t reuse
- Antivirus software
- Careful online browsing
- Keeping software up-to-date
However, having a backup means that your files will stay safe if your system is damaged by malware or ransomware.
6. Peace of Mind when you back up
Whether it’s your university dissertation, your customer database, precious family photos or a novel you’ve been working on, consider the impact if your work was lost? Even if you’ve invested hours into a game, imagine the feeling if that save file was gone and you had to go back to the beginning?
In some cases, it doesn’t even bare thinking about the consequences. If the file is important, you should have more than one copy, with each copy saved in a different place.
With your files safely backed up in multiple places, you can sleep well with extra peace of mind tonight!
So, what are you waiting for? It’s worth it for the peace of mind alone!