Have you ever considered the value of the data your store as part of your day-to-day business? What is the true worth of your data?
‘Data’ is such an impersonal term, when most of the time the data we store is actually incredibly personal. Not only that, our lives and businesses depend on having unrestricted access to that data 24/7.
Let’s break down what ‘data’ really means:
- Photographs, Videos and Media – in a modern world, all of our memories are stored as a series of zeros and ones. For many people you can’t simply put a price on photos and memories. In this instance, the value is priceless. Sentimental value is still value, which is why you can’t put a price on this.
- Names, addresses, contact details and other data about customers – almost all businesses store personal information about their customers. If this data was lost and you had no way to communicate with your customers, then your business won’t make as many sales. Not to mention the legal implications and fines associated with being careless with your customer data
- Marketing materials that are vital for the success of any business – marketing materials stored digitally are extremely valuable. Many business invest a lot of time, money and resources into marketing, so losing all of that work would be devastating.
- Study materials, school work and coursework – students of all ages have all their valuable work stored digitally. Education is a great expense, so all work, notes and project saved have a huge amount of value attached to them.
- Personal files and documents – things like CVs, notebooks, resumes, personal projects may appear to have little commercial value on the surface (but even that may not always the case). For many, the loss of personal files and projects often means the loss of time that you can’t get back. Time is precious, after all.
- Paid-for software, applications, license keys and downloaded content – in this modern world, we don’t often buy physical DVDs, CDs with license keys printed on booklets anymore. Most digital content has digitally encrypted licensing hard-coded into the file. These often need a ‘key file’ on the device and without both the files intact, the application or content will not run. This is called Digital Rights Management (DRM) Protection.
Data loss is more than just a minor inconvenience. There’s a monetary, psychological and emotional connection to a lot of the information we have saved, which we probably take for granted more often than we should.
What’s your data worth to you?
Who really has the time to manually backup their files every day?
In an ideal world, your data is automatically backed up without you needing to take any action beyond the initial setup.
Remember the ‘Rule of 3’ when it comes to data storage
Another key thing is to remember the ‘rule of 3’ – that is you should ideally have 3 copies of your data:
- Your working copy that you access regularly
- A copy stored online ‘in the cloud’
- A copy stored offline on a physical disk drive or SSD (aka “cold storage”)
If you have more data than you have physical space for it all, consider an archiving system or use a deep freeze data storage solution such as Amazon S3 Glacier.
Consider doing this for all files that haven’t been accessed in 12 months but need to be kept for archiving reasons incase they’re needed for future reference. For example, all businesses are required to keep their accounts for 6 years and some regulations require data to be stored for much longer. However, it’s not accessed regularly then it can be archived in cold storage.
Keep a data recovery technician’s number in case of emergencies
It’s always a good idea to have a disaster recovery plan. Hard drives can fail. They have moving parts and just like everything else, are subject to wear and tear.
We all keep the number of a washing machine repairperson, a plumber and an electrician handy – you know – just in case.
Things can do wrong and sometimes, they do.
So why not store our number – 033 0133 1423 in case you ever experience the unthinkable.
Key takeaway: Your data is more valuable than you think!
Your data is valuable – treat it as such.