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Making a physical backup of the data generated in a small business is a necessity that many small business owners overlook. But neglecting to make data backup a priority is inherently risky since theft, system failure, or damage can easily compromise the data stored on a computer. Moreover, making a physical backup of data means that valuable information can be moved off-site, safe from things such as fire or flooding.

There are several methods of transferring your backup files to another media. Here are a few of the most popular options:

  • CD-Roms. What makes this method popular is that it is inexpensive and easy. But it is probably one of the most unreliable methods of data backup. CDs have a limited shelf life, are easily damaged, and are often rendered “unreadable.” If you plan on using this method, you should make several copies and check the CD afterward to make sure the information is accessible.
  • External hard drives. External hard drives are relatively cheap compared to tape drives (a few hundred dollars versus approximately $1,000). With this method you can expect ease of use and higher reliability.
  • Tape backups. The use of a tape backup drive is probably the most reliable of all options listed here. But this reliability comes with a hefty price tag. A good tape drive can will cost over $1000, and individual tapes for the drive can cost up to $40 each.
  • Online backup services. Do an online search for data backup services and several companies will pop up. While this may seem like an attractive option, there are many security issues involved. Before you choose this method, consider how sensitive is your data. You should also research different companies. Find out how long each one been in business, what security systems they have in place, and ask for references.

Your data backup is as good as the method you choose. Do your research to determine which method is right for you and your business.

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