Way back in my early teens, a new law came into force in the motor industry that most people chose to listen to whilst others decided to ignore; either because they saw it as a hassle or simply forgot as it wasn’t part of their normal routine, but the latter could and sometimes did lead to disastrous consequences.

What I’m referring to is the law of wearing seatbelts and choosing not to wear one wasn’t the best idea, but thankfully it has become second nature to most people today and I for one wouldn’t feel safe driving 100yards on a public road without it. So you might be thinking – what exactly does this have to do with computers!

What I’m talking about doesn’t have the same catastrophic consequences as the seatbelt but it can cause havoc to your business or the home if ignored. I see it week after week when people cross their fingers and hope everything will be just fine. The topic I’m referring to is data backups.

Unlike the seatbelt, it’s not something that has to be done by law but hoping for the best and not backing up your data isn’t a good strategy either. It could mean losing critical information in your business or your treasured photographs at home. I call it the ‘It’ll never happen to me’ syndrome.

Click Clunk
I recently did a job for a customer who was in for a nasty surprise. The initial call was to say that her computer wouldn’t startup normally. During my visit I told her that the hard drive was faulty, but she proudly said there’s a backup in place so we could either replace the hard drive or just get a new machine and restore the data from the backup. Great we both thought….

She was correct about a backup running but unfortunately the backup hadn’t been configured correctly as it didn’t include her most important and recent data. This was as good as not having a backup! Using specialist tools, I was able to retrieve some of her data from the faulty drive but not all of it. So if you do have a backup, that’s fantastic, but do check that it’s actually backing up the right information or you’ll be in for a shock as well if the time comes when you need to recover your data.

Having a backup isn’t expensive and is really not worth the risk of going without. Just like the seatbelt, it’s very easy to do but also easy not to do.