Have you recently started a new business? You’re probably excited about the prospect of being your own boss and implementing your creative ideas. I’m sure you’re also determined to do everything possible to ensure the success of your business. Perhaps you have purchased business manuals that will teach you everything from marketing strategies to financing. You may have even hired an accountant or sales representative to assist you. Many people consult with other professionals within their field to learn valuable tips and advice for their business. Unfortunately, one area is often neglected, and is can cause disastrous results- data protection.
The Importance of Protecting Your Data
Can you imagine showing up for work one morning to discover that all of your valuable data has been lost? The odds of this happening are not as low as you my think. The data you spend so much time compiling is often essential for running your business smoothly – especially a new business. Think about the consequences of losing every one of your business contacts, all of your financial spreadsheets, your important business documents, every computer template, etc. I’m sure you get the picture.
Avoid a Costly & Time-Consuming process
You need to protect all of your valuable data in the case of unforeseen circumstances. Recompiling all of your data is a very labour-intensive and expensive procedure. Imagine how long it would take you to recreate every template, re-enter every contact or retype every document. Even worse, starting over from scratch may not be possible, depending on the volume, budget and staffing of your particular business.
Don’t Risk Losing Credibility & Customers
If your business data is ever compromised, you also risk losing credibility and customers. Having to call all of your clients to explain you have lost their documents or financial information is certainly not a good way to start a new business. Your clients may start to worry that you are careless or disorganized and are not taking sufficient care of their personal information. This may send them heading straight to your competitors!
Avoid Losing Irreplaceable Data
Some of the data you have gathered for your new business may be irreplaceable. For example, you may have time-sensitive or historic data that can never be retrieved. This is yet another important reason to protect your business data.
Possible Cause of Data Loss
There are many circumstances that can lead to data loss. A power outage or power surge may erase all of your valuable business data. A network glitch, corrupt hardware or software component or computer virus can also wreak havoc on your stored information.
Another increasingly common cause of data loss relates to computer hackers and information theft. More individuals are devising innovative new methods of stealing data, especially customer’s financial information.
Human error continues to play the largest part in data loss. Pressing one wrong key, forgetting to press the “save” button, dropping a laptop or accidentally formatting a drive can wipe out hours, weeks, or even months of valuable data.
How to Protect Your Data
Perform Regular Backups
First of all, you need to start incorporating routine data backups into your regular routine. It’s advisable to back up all of your business data daily. If this isn’t possible, make sure you perform this task at least every week. This way, you won’t risk losing months or even years of valuable data. Certain computer programs will facilitate the task by automating backups at specified time periods.
Install Data Protection Software
Another useful method to protect your data is to install programs that will safeguard your computers against viruses, worms, trojans and hackers. Many companies offer relatively inexpensive software to assist you with this task. The expense will be well worth the price if it helps you protect your invaluable data. You should also install reliable firewall, anti-virus and disk encryption programs.
Implement Proper Passwords
Do you tend to use that same easy password for multiple programs so you don’t have to worry about forgetting them? This is a very common problem that may cause your business data to be compromised. In order to safeguard your information against hacking or viruses, you need to implement proper passwords. This means avoiding words that are easy for others to guess such as the name of your children, spouse or pet. Instead, you should incorporate letters and numbers and use words that aren’t in the dictionary.
You need to take every possible precaution to safeguard you valuable business data. Having to recompile this information thanks to a virus, hacker, power outage, human error, or software problem can be a very time-consuming and expensive process. In fact, it may end up completely destroying your new business. Don’t risk losing credibility, customers and irreplaceable data; perform regular backups, install data protection software and use proper passwords to keep your business data safe and secure.
Source by Michelle L Kirkbride