What would happen to your business if all of your customer records, and the notes that you keep on each of your clients, disappeared overnight? What if your staff records were accidentally erased, or your invoices and bookkeeping records were stolen?
Your business runs on data, which is why it’s absolutely vital to make sure that your business data is safe and secure. Here are three ways to make that happen:
Back Everything Up (Multiple Times)
Store vital data files within the My Documents folder of your computer and you’re asking for trouble. Any number of scenarios could lead to data loss including, but not limited to:
- Office fire or flood;
- Computer virus;
- Computer damage/wear;
- Accidental deletion;
- Malicious deletion.
There are dozens of ways to back up your files. Some people still prefer to print everything, some use CDs, some use USB sticks or external hard drives. Cloud storage solutions are amongst the best choices for businesses, as they allow you to store your files securely elsewhere and to access them using an Internet connection. You can also use them to share files publicly or with specific people.
It’s important to remember that you can’t trust your PC and that you also shouldn’t trust your first backup method. OneDrive and Dropbox are great for cloud storage, but you can’t be sure that they’ll be around forever. What if Dropbox closed down suddenly, taking all of your data files with it?
USB keys can end up being lost or stolen and if you lose your computer in a flood or fire then you can almost be certain that you’re losing those printed documents, too. Try to store data in three or more places.
Make Sure that Your Website is Secure
Most websites include business data, stored behind the scenes. You could be hosting customer or client records, or using a web-based enquiry form to gather data from existing customers or new website visitors.
Can you afford to lose that? Are you prepared to be the one to tell your most significant client that his credit card number might have been sent to a complete stranger?
Don’t just think about the important data that you store in your office – think about the new data that you’ve got coming in.
Be Careful What You Throw Out
All too often, people that understand the importance of data security come to quickly forget it when they’re throwing things away. An old PC might be thrown into a skip, or a slightly broken USB key might be put into the bin. Instead of using a shredder, we might save time by throwing a document containing a client’s bank details in with the rest of our waste paper.
No matter how you store your data, it’s important to protect it right until the end – find ways to correctly and effectively dispose of anything that you no longer want or need, not just for your business but also for the people that use it.