Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Prepare to save your data...

Well, the office is moved and man am I happy about that. It was technologically trouble free I think due to our preparation and disaster recovery program. Back-up, back-up, back-up. A few notations to remember all hook-ups just in case and we were up and running in no time, with no damage to equipment or data. Pretty important for any small business that moves its operations to another location. Most small businesses don't back-up their data properly and usually do not consider this step until they have lost everything in a crash. Disaster recovery is critical to plan for and here are some key items that should be in your plan.

  1. Back-up your data on all computers and networks in three ways. On the desktop using the internal back-up process MS Windows provides.
  2. CRITICAL: File Transfer Protocol (FTP) web site online, when you upload your information to a secure online location that qualifies as offsite and saves you from losing your back-up information to a fire or other disaster at your location. (check the server facilities to ensure they have sufficient fire suppression systems in place as well)
  3. Make sure you have a recovery disk(s) saved. Put that in a fire proof box, but remember heat melts plastic. This is a temporary solution. You should put this disk off site and in safe hands, safety deposit box works fine.
  4. Back-up often, depending on size and nature of business, daily, weekly or monthly.
  5. File and computer maintenance is important so that your data has less chance of becoming corrupted by attack, software conflict and so on.
  6. Eliminate spy ware regularly, it can really slow your PC and network down. There are several good software options to choose from off the shelf or online.
  7. Dust is a killer as well and promotes heating up, so keep things clean and cool by using a pressurized can of air to blow dust away.
  8. Keep your anti-virus program definitions, and your window updates, up to date.
  9. If you are using a wireless router, ensure your wireless network security is enabled properly.
  10. Passwords should be changed frequently, have no pattern and should NOT be taped to the bottom of your keyboard or monitor. What the heck is the point? I've walked through so many offices where I could have (if I was dishonest and I'm not) remembered passwords from dozens of desktops and entered them into a pda in seconds. People often complain of having to remember them so here's a trick, I have two little address books one I keep at my desk tucked away and the other is offsite. Also when you record the information, do it like this. I keep only two entries per page and I swap the names and online locations with the user name and passwords that correspond.

So for example,


Username: Joeblow355

Password: BlacKwhite897

Blogger Account:

Username: SuperdUde195

Password: kiloflY4299

Webmail is actually blogger info and vice versa, just in case this information falls into the wrong hands. Most people will not go to this length of secrecy or protection but for those who do your information is much more secure. Notice I've used upper and lower case as well as numbers and the words are made up and random. NOT birthday's, family names or pet names.

Has anyone had a bad data loss recently? How did you recover?

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