There are a number of ways to back up your data. They generally fall into three categories: backing up to the network, backing up to an external disk or drive, and using a third party back up service.

Backing up to the network (within your business): This is the recommended way to back up important files. Most established businesses will have a ‘file server’ with an area configured where they can store files not intended to be shared with others. This would be a secure location.

These secure locations are recommended back up locations for a variety of reasons:

  • Access to these drives is restricted to authorized accounts.
  • All the data on these drives is backed up to backup server/tape drive (assuming business applies best practice).
  • These locations should be available from anywhere via a VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection.
  • Tip: At the end of each day that you have worked on an assignment, consider uploading the document to Google Drive, or e-mailing a copy of the file to yourself. This way, the current version will be backed up in a secure location, and also available to you whether you are in or out of the office. Of course, always comply with Data Protection Law and any other policies that your business may require you to adhere to.

Backing up to an external disk or drive

There are a variety of types of external drives, such as CD or DVD burners, which can write your data to a disk for backup. Additionally, USB drives come in a variety of sizes; some very small and portable, some too big to carry in your backpack every day. The larger USB drives are a generally reliable option for backing up your data. However, the smaller thumb or flash drives are only recommended for temporary storage of data, such as carrying information from home to office or client for a presentation. These drives fail frequently and are not recommended for long term storage.

Using a third party back up service

A quick Web search for “Internet backup service” will provide you with a number of results, both companies providing the service as well as articles reviewing these services. Third party solutions would not be recommended for company proprietary or sensitive data, as there would be requirements for storing sensitive data. However, you may find a third party service useful for backing up your personal data, such as your digital photo or music collection.