How Safe Is Your Customer List
and Sales Data?


How safe is your data? You may be covered for theft, but what about system failures?

If you work at home you probably don't worry about the security of the files on your computer. After all, what could possibly happen to them? No one is likely to sneak into your home in the middle of the night and take away all your files. Right?


Well, yes and no.

While you may not be a target for criminal activity, you could lose all your critical financial data and customers lists if your computer is hit by power surges, or if your hard disk crashes.

Although data can sometimes be recovered after a hard disk crash, the cost of recovery can run anywhere from $500 to over $1,000. And, not all disks or all data can always be recovered.

Fortunately, there's a simple way to avoid catastrophic loss of computer data: make regular backups. It is a relatively quick procedure for most small businesses to make daily incremental backups (backups of any file on the system that has changed since the last backup.) Complete backups should be done weekly.


While backup systems used to be quite expensive, there is now a wide range of systems available and at reasonable prices. You can get a 40 Gigabyte external USB or Firewire hard drive for instance, for under $200. Or, if you don't have many data files, you could even backup onto CDs if you have a read/write CD drive for your computer.  

If you use a computer regularly, don't gamble with your data. Sooner or later you will have trouble retrieving your data from your hard drive. The price of the hardware and software and the few minutes of time to start the backup daily is a small price to pay to safeguard important data and financial information. 

About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning  Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Janet on Twitter at

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