Friday, October 26, 2007

Backup Systems and Disaster Recovery

With the California wildfires in the news, it's an appropriate time to remind resume writers about the importance of disaster planning.

Whether you're faced with wildfires, earthquakes, hurricanes, or flooding, any of these can create the potential for significant disruption of your business. I'd advise creating a basic disaster plan ... but in the meantime, you need to create a backup plan. Literally.

Answer this next question honestly: Do you have a copy of your critical electronic information? If so, how old is it?

Think about it -- if your hard drive failed today, or there was a fire, or someone stole your laptop -- how would you be able to replace your critical data -- your financial files, accounting records, client resumes, mailing lists and client databases, and the forms, scripts, and paperwork you've spent years fine-tuning?

Prevention is the key. There are many ways to store your data:
  • Flash/Jump/USB drives.
  • Zip and Jaz drives
  • Tape back-up systems
  • CDs
  • Online web space
Create a back-up schedule. At a minimum, you should back-up your files monthly. Establish a routine -- for example, backing everything up on the first day of the month, or the last Friday of the month.

Then Get It Off Site! It's not going to do you any good if your back-up CD is in the computer bag when your laptop is stolen, or in your desk drawer when your office is flooded. Make it a practice to store back-ups off site.

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