Are you backing up your computer data? Really? Be honest. How often do you check to see if the computer backup really works? When is the last time you deleted a file and then went through the process of restoring that file? Do you have employees? Is your company data protected, even if the employee leaves the company?

Protecting the data on your computer(s) – both at home and at work – should be routine but it’s amazing how many companies – and people – never really think about computer backup protection until it’s too late and a crisis has occurred.

“30 percent of small businesses admit they have no formal data backup and storage procedures, or do not implement their procedures consistently,” according to an Imation Small Business Backup survey.

The issue seems to be that a user needs a computer backup system that does the thinking for them (most of the time).

In my last blog we talked about backing up to the cloud. Whether you are thinking of using online backup at work or at home, the advantages of online backup are clear:

Online data backup guarantees that you never have to worry about the physical loss of your data – to hard drive crashes, viruses, accidentally or intentionally erasing data, theft or even natural disasters.  Online backup is automatic and routine, safeguards data is always being protected – even if you – or your employees forget.

Online computer backup protects your data in a secure, offsite location. This frees you and your employees from the hassle of having to remember.  Also, if your location is hit by a natural disaster such as flooding or fire, your data is still safe.  Since your data is in the cloud, there is no need to have someone take the data offsite to another location at the end of the day, as is traditionally practiced by most companies.

So while the benefits may be clear, choosing the right data backup provider may not be. Balancing reliability, cost and user friendliness is the goal, but what this means is different for different people and businesses.  My next article will cover the top ten things to investigate about an online backup company before you make your decision.