Protecting a website from important data loss has always been a vital problem for online community. Although there are hundreds of services offering to solve any backup up issues once and for all, you’ll hardly use them effectively without any essential backup knowledge.
Apart from that, even knowing how important it is to timely backup your priceless data and how grave the consequences of careless behavior can be, the overwhelming majority of users still prefer to hope for the best and don’t “waste” their time on consistent backups.
Well, numbers speak louder than words. And to realize the importance of wisely planned backups just dig into statistics:
- Blog.backupify.com reports that about 60% of companies that lose important data suspend their activities or shut down within 5-6 months after the data loss.
- About 70% of online entrepreneurs confess they suffer from critical data loss at least once in 5 years.
- According to CloudBackup.uk.com 30% of companies still don’t have a data recovery plan, while more than 50% of those who have created the program, report that their backup plans have numerous weak points.
So, let’s take a look at the most common backup mistakes one still makes and find out how to develop a brilliant backup plan and protect your critical business data:
What is the difference?
All these methods serve for your data protection to some extent; however they are not the same. Backup means mirroring your data – when you change any file in your source OS, your backup also changes accordingly. In other words, backup makes a file copy and places it to an onsite or offsite server to keep it safely. You can restore your files at any time in case you lose them for one reason or another.
Storage is great for the files that you don’t typically change or at least not so often. The core difference is in creation of file versions. Online storage presupposes moving data from one folder to another and overwriting your old files, while backup lets users make numerous copies of their files and roll back to the previous file versions when it’s necessary.
Synchronization is used to keep the same files in multiple machines.
Don’t keep all eggs in one basket
This is, probably, one of the most painful mistakes you can make. Never store backup files on the same website that you back up. It’s much safer to keep the backup up files on the offsite server. There are dozens of online backup services enabling you to safely store your data without the risk of losing them in case your site goes down:
- Crash Plan;
- Spider Oak;
- AmazonS3 Storage;
- Box.com Storage;
- Google Drive and many others;
Different data require different backup methods
Take backup process seriously and do the research to find out the best solution for your website. Which ready-to-use cloud storage or service works better for you? Are you ready to trust them your data or do you need to create our own offsite storage for security reasons? Do you need an unlimited backup opportunity or would 100GB work for you?
Therefore, before elaborating a backup plan you need to do a careful research to find the best individual solution for your website.
Even automated schedule needs control
Scheduling your backup is a great idea. But keep in mind that no automated process can run without control. You still have to constantly monitor it to be “in the right place at the right time” if something goes wrong.
There are lots of hidden threats that can prevent your scheduled backup process from successful running: backup storage gets full, software malfunction etc. Thus, leaving the process unattended means putting your working data at a serious risk.
Backup data verification is a must
Unfortunately, controlling your schedule is also not enough, as backup is a much more complex process. Therefore, the next consistent step is backup data verification as there is no point in backing up your files if you are not able to restore and use them.
The only way to make sure you’ve got really workable solution in case of data loss is to test your backups. If you run multiple backups you need to verify all of them or at least concentrate on the most critical data.
Prioritize your backup files correctly
And now it’s high time to talk about your backup plan itself. Do you have any critical files that you would miss most if your computer or website crashed? Which file types you need to protect by all means? These data should definitely have a great impact on your backup plan. Arrange your files in several groups according to their importance and decide which of them should be backed up daily, weekly, monthly etc.
Today most backup services enable you to run several backups at the same time. This flexibility lets you easily fine tune the backup process and always keep up-to-date files at hand.
Don’t underestimate malware threat
It’s sad but true – you can’t run malware scan just once and live happily ever after. As soon as thousands of new security threats appear daily, you have to run malware scan as often as possible. And of course, run the scan each time you upload new files to your online store.
Although some viruses can’t be backed up as backup software never backs up the boot sector, there are a lot of malicious programs that still can be placed to the backup storage together with your files. There is also a risk of backing up quarantined data or damaged documents. Therefore, regular scan prevents your data from any malware threats.
Keep up with the latest backup tendencies
Never treat backup as panacea as it doesn’t guarantee you 100% data protection, especially if you still use outdated backup methods. Such time proved backup “storages” like magnetic tapes or discs may still seem handy, but they can be easily lost or destroyed in a disaster.
Think of more reliable backup solutions such as Cloud Backup. It doesn’t mean you should immediately refuse all the methods you used before. By applying various backup types you significantly increase the level of your data protection prevent your website from all possible data loss threats.
Please feel free to share your questions and ideas about backup issues in the comments section.