Tips & Info

What's Your Backup Plan?

By: Keith Hill Jr.

 

Computer backups should be an integral part of any data management strategy. Without regular backups, your computer can fall victim to everyday potential hazards and suffer data loss – not only through ill-intent hacking or malware but hazards also include simple things like spilling coffee on your CPU. 

 

Data loss on your family computer would be a bad thing, like a fender bender. Losing data from a business computer is like a full-on collision – hopefully nothing severe, maybe just some bumps and bruises. However, specifically when it comes to a law firm’s computer, the loss of data could equate to a serious car crash for your business, and it may suffer lifelong damages – if it even survives.

 

It is obvious in all instances that backing up is important, however with the level of ethical and professional obligations of a lawyer, the importance for backing up your data is paramount.

 

Types of Data Loss

 

Data loss can result from several types of unfortunate events, which include:

 

Technical Malfunctions

 

  • Software problems

  • Hardware problems

 

Human Errors

 

  • Inadvertent/erroneous inputting

  • Physical damage

 

Collateral Damage

 

  • Fire, Power interruptions, etc.

 

Effective Backup Planning

 

Here are some key points to keep in mind to practice effective backup planning:

 

  • Choose your type: external hard-drive or cloud. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages; choose one that works best for you. 

  • Keep your computer on its own power supply. This is especially true if you are using the external hard-drive option as your backup type. 

  • Schedule your backups. For obvious reasons, the more frequent the schedule (daily vs weekly, etc.), the better. 

  • Use Auto Backup. The best way to establish your backup routine is to set it up without having to think about it. Many programs have an auto backup feature. 

For instance, in PCLaw, the backup feature is found at: 

 

  1. Options > Workstation Settings > Other

  2. Select “Automatic”

  3. Click “Configure”

  4. Enter backup particulars 

 

Buckle Up

 

According to Gartner Group, a leader in the IT analyst market, “6% of all PC’s will suffer an episode of data loss in any given year...and up to 96% of all business PC’s are not being backed up”. According to a July 2011 Forbes article, “[a driver] will file a claim for a collision about once every 17.9 years”. Though the odds for an auto accident are slim, we buckle up every day (hopefully!) as though one is always possible. Similarly, lawyers, in particular, should “buckle up” their PC’s with a regularly scheduled backup routine to secure themselves should any unforeseen incidents occur that may result in any loss of data. 

©2021, Bookkeeping Matters. All rights reserved. Reproduction with credit is permitted.