No matter how small your business is, you still need a data backup plan. Protecting your computer’s data files is something every small-business must know about and deal with before it is too late. It is not a complicated or expensive process. Protect your small business with these simple and inexpensive tips:

Types of Computer Memory Devices1. Use Two External Hard Drives
This is the most basic and easiest way to protect your data that is located on your internal hard drive. Always keep one of the external hard drives locked up in a heavy-duty, fire-proof safe.

2. Use Backup Software
It is very important to take human error and forgetfulness out of the equation. Use backup software that will automatically and regularly be backing-up your data. This software will keep your backup strategy simple and consistent.

3. Use Cloud Storage
Your data will be stored in an encrypted format when it is backed up to the cloud at the storage company, which should prevent a hacker from easily accessing your information.

4. Don’t Use Encryption for Your Hard Drives
For most purposes, encryption of your computer or hard drive is not necessary. Encryption is only necessary for extremely sensitive data – like your patients’ medical records.

5. Don’t Keep Very Sensitive Data On Laptops
Keep very sensitive data on flash drives, not on the laptop’s hard drive. Flash drives are easy to lock away, or keep in your pocket. Use at least two flash drives just as you would use two external hard drives.

6. Buy Big-Names Only
When you buy any hard drive or flash drive, buy the big brand-names only. It doesn’t cost any extra money to do this. And when choosing a cloud storage company, only use the biggest, and longest established, company.

7. Restrict Access To Your Data
This means keeping your kids off of your office computer, or teaching them what they can and cannot do on your computer. If you have people working in your office, you need to restrict which files they can access. Using a password on certain computers and files is a quick and simple solution for this.

8. Test Often
At least a few times a year, you should access your data that you have stored on each of your external hard drives, and on the cloud. Do this from your main computer, as well as from your other computers.

9. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
Use a mix of hard drives and cloud storage.  No one method alone is a guarantee that your data is completely safe. Also, make sure that another family member or employee knows how to find and access your data back-ups.