Grant McGregor News

7 Essential Reasons To Back-Up Your Laptop

May 30 2016

If your files are too important to lose then you need to back up your laptop!

 

Whether you use it for personal or work purposes, your laptop is likely to be one of your most prized possessions. However, despite this, many people fail to adequately back-up their laptops. This can cause major problems in the event of a disaster. Here we’ve shared the 7 essential reasons why you should back-up your laptop and how to go about it.

 

1. Business Data & Apps at Risk

Your business laptop is predominantly a machine for work so that you can operate from anywhere and access the apps and data you need.

If you do work like this, it’s highly likely that you connect remotely to your systems or server at your main office to open and save your files to your server rather than save them to your local drive on your laptop. But that’s not always possible and many people hold important files, spreadsheets, proposals, reports and other business data on the laptop’s hard disk itself. You may mean to copy it up to the server ‘later’ but ‘later’ doesn’t always come!

I’m actually sitting writing this article on my laptop on a train and saving it locally on my desktop until I get back to the office later and save it to our server. I must remember to do that…..!

We often come across users with more important work files such as Finance and payroll applications running on a laptop with the finance and pay data (pretty important data I think you’d agree) is ONLY saved onto that laptop, and nowhere else. Or you have a vital application installed on your portable device that would take forever to get it back to a state where it’s configured just the way you want to use it and not just in the default install mode.

If you were to lose these more important files, where there isn’t a copy on the server this could set your business back, lower your productivity levels and even damage your reputation. If any of the files and applications on your laptop are integral to the day-to-day running of your job or your entire business then you need to back it up.

 

2. Personal Data at Risk too!

It’s not just your business data that’s at risk these days.

With mobile phone/camera syncing through USB, a laptop often doubles-up as both a business and a ‘personal’ device. When you charge your mobile, you automatically sync your memories – those holiday photos & videos – from your phone’s camera too. And to make some space on your phone’s limited storage, you have to delete them.

So your laptop is likely to have all sorts of files on it that are equally (if not more personally) important to you, like your family pictures & videos and also your favourite music and apps. Imagine if they were all gone in a split second?

That’s just what could happen if you fail to back-up your laptop.

If you haven’t got a secondary back up of those items from your laptop, then your family photos will be lost forever and you’ll find yourself having to re-download all of your favourite tunes, which will take no end of time and effort!

 

3. Hardware failure

No matter how great your laptop is; we can almost guarantee that at some point in its lifespan it will fail. This could be due to many things; it could suffer a hard drive failure or power surge or it might overheat if the fan fails to keep things cool. If you’ve taken the sensible approach to buy hardware warranty as insurance for your laptop, then that’s great news. You’ll get the failed parts replaced or your laptop will be collected, repaired and returned but, unfortunately, it doesn’t cover any lost data or way to recover it.

 

4. Software Failure

More prevalent today, even with decent AV protection in place, you could still get malware on it or a truly nasty ‘ransomware’ infection that encrypts all of the data on your laptop which means it has to be scrubbed and everything reinstalled from scratch. There are many other ways in which your data might suddenly become corrupted or you may need to reverse back out of a bad software update but either way, it could lead to the loss of your important business and personal data.

Whilst you may be able to use other recovery methods to get your files back, those are often very expensive and time consuming. Plus you can’t guarantee they’ll definitely work.

In the event of a total laptop failure or a prolonged period without the laptop you can simply restore the back-up to a new laptop and commence from where you left off. It’s always important to remember that the data on a business laptop is often worth far more than the cost of a laptop itself.

 

5. Accidental Damage

One of the worst things about accidents is that you can’t predict when they’re going to happen. Whilst you can’t really do much to prevent an accident from happening, you can put measures in place to limit the damage done.

Backing up your laptop will mean that even if your hardware is destroyed in a flood, fire or other unforeseen event such as liquid spillage, you will still be able to recover the programs and files from elsewhere. You won’t lose the photographs that mean so much to you and you won’t lose all the work you’ve been doing for the last few years.

 

6. Stop Thief!

Whilst it would be great to live in a world where theft doesn’t exist, unfortunately that’s not likely to happen any time soon. Laptops are one of the items that are high on thieves’ list to steal, as they can be wiped and sold on for quick cash.

Even though your home or business insurance policy will cover your laptop in the event of a theft, they cannot replace the programs or files that were stored on there. This means, if your laptop is stolen, your programs and files are gone for good too. And you’re out of action until a replacement laptop is provided and prepared for use.

It’s also a good reason to ensure your laptop is encrypted so that your sensitive business data and personal info doesn’t end up in the hands of a complete stranger. Think of all those stored passwords for shopping websites, banking and more! But we’ll not dwell on laptop encryption just now – let’s save that for another day!

 

7. Back to Square One

From time to time you may wish to restore to a previous position of your data and/or software. For example you may have overwritten important data and need to recover it to its previous state.

Or software in use may have become corrupted or its configuration may have changed. Through intelligent use of a laptop back-up you could restore the software to its previous state and save a lot of time and worry.

One further reason to restore form a backup is if you were to buy a new laptop, you can restore all the applications and data to it to make sure you’re ready to go quickly.

And if you have had all of your files encrypted by ‘ransomware’ then your laptop can have the last good backup restored ‘over the top’ of your infected laptop to put you back to where you were before the malware got in.

 

Backing up your laptop

With so many important reasons to back-up your laptop, what’s stopping you?

Backing up your laptop is actually very straightforward and can be as simple as loading your files onto a USB stick. But, unless it’s encrypted, USB sticks are easily mislaid or lost with all your important data on them.

You could also backup to an larger external hard drive but it may not be as portable as your laptop and, like saving data up to the server, you have to remember to plug it in or to copy it when you’re next in the same place it’s in.

If you’re looking for a more robust solution, we definitely recommend backing up your laptop in entirety (applications and files) to our managed back-up service. That way, if something unexpected happens to your laptop, you’ll still be able to access the files you need from another location. All you’ll need is a connection to the internet!

 

Grant McGregor’s Cloud Laptop and Desktop Back-up Service

Here at Grant McGregor we have developed a complete managed laptop & desktop back-up service to take away the pain and the worry of protecting your data.

Here are some of the details:

  1. Choose the amount of data you need to initially back-up – this can be adjusted at a later time
  2. Each quota is for a minimum of 12 months, you can upgrade up but not down during this period. From as little as £15 per month to back-up and hold 100 GB of compressed data
  3. Choose the time of the day that suits you for back-up, e.g. this could be out of hours (late evening / early morning, etc.)
  4. Included in the fee are the set-up and configuration of back-ups
  5. We will set-up to work through the cloud and test data loaded to ensure its integrity and that is able to be restored
  6. Once we’ve finished the initial back-up of your data, the rest of it is just the files and data that have changed (known as incremental back-up). So, it doesn’t take long or use much of your bandwidth or other resources
  7. We include up to 30 minutes of administration, trouble-shooting and data restore time each month
  8. All of your data is stored in one convenient central location
  9. All data is encrypted (at rest and in transit) to ensure its safe and not usable by unauthorised third parties
  10. Wherever possible we will optimise and de-duplicate data to ensure you receive the best value for money available (you only get charged for the compressed data being stored)
  11. We check the success and integrity of your back-up with a daily check
  12. More details of this service are available upon request

 

For more information on how to safeguard your data and back-up your technology, feel free to get in touch with the Grant McGregor team.

 

Image credit: perspec_photo88

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