29% of people don't do backups. Are you one of them?

By: John McGarvey

Date: 6 August 2013

Are you backed up?{{}}We have almost total reliance on our computer systems, databases and critical files. We face frequent security threats.

Survey after survey demonstrates how our computers and data are at risk from crime, accidental damage, loss or component failure.

All this, and yet research shows that almost a third of computer owners (29%) have never backed up their computers. Only around 10% of people back up daily - yet that's what you need to do if your data changes frequently.

With a Google study (admittedly a few years old) telling us a two-year-old hard disk has an 8% chance of failing in the next year, many of us are taking needless risks with our data.

Backups aren't hard

These days, running backups doesn't even need to be all that tricky. An increasing number of smaller companies are turning to online backup as a simple and relatively affordable solution.

Online backup means your key files are sent over the internet to a remote server, where they're stored safely. Ragnar Percy-Bell works for Plexus Business Solutions, an IT support company in Kent. He reckons online backup is a convenient way to safeguard your data.

"Your computer and database files are encrypted so that they are totally secure," he explains. "They are sent via your normal internet connection to a secure computer file storage system off-site."

At least two backups

However, if the first rule of backups is to do them daily, the second is to never, ever rely on a single backup method. Although online backups may be convenient, you should always use a second backup method too. You just can't be too careful with your essential data.

If you're using online backup, your second backup system is likely to be an in-house system. It might be an old fashioned tape system, or simply a set of external hard drives that you copy your data too.

"You can use a remote backup system for daily critical files and databases and your existing tape or drive system for a full backup once a month," suggests Ragnar. "Your tapes and drive will last longer, plus you can feel totally sure that your business critical files will not be lost."

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