Why must you back-up: horror stories.

Online backup company IronTree’s head technician Ruedi Teichardt reports that in June 2017 alone, 79 restores were performed, followed by 82 in July and these were due mainly to stolen machines, crashed machines, viruses and a hijacking. Other examples of restores that IronTree performed involved new machines that needed data transferred to them and machines that had been upgraded and needed files to be replaced. In all instances their daily backup service meant all clients had their emails, documents back within a few hours of losing them.

In one example, bookkeeper Mallorie was on her way to visit a client when her laptop was stolen from the passenger seat of her car in a smash-and-grab incident at a red traffic light. Her company had been backing up, and all her files were recoverable.

In another example, an engineer doing a PhD took his laptop in to get more RAM inserted and ended up losing his thesis a few weeks before hand in. He had a daily scheduled backup through the company he works for and simply had it restored to his upgraded laptop.

One large company decided to manage their backup in-house using their own IT staff and cancelled their backup service. When their servers crashed they discovered they hadn’t been backing up the right data and lost all their Pastel accounting files. IronTree couldn’t help because the service had been cancelled and the automated backups had stopped.

IronTree’s examples of data loss, and recoverability, are endless. But Ruedi Teichardt warns that even when you have a backup service doing daily scheduled backups, you still need to be vigilant about making sure the documents that need backing up are in the folders assigned for automated backup. You also need to contact your service provider when you upgrade your hardware and software, so they can reapply your data selections. “Your backups are as safe as you make them – we provide the encryption, the scheduled backups and the secure data centres, but clients still need to select the right files for backup,” Teichardt says.

It’s also important to make sure the online service you have chosen is a comprehensive one. A good service will encrypt your data before it leaves your computer and then be available for recovery only to authorised staff.

Online backup is an affordable service – by paying a little bit extra each month, you have the certainty that your information is safe and recoverable. It’s certainly a lot less costly than the time and money you’d have to spend to recreate data if you lost it.

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