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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Monthly ITCC Tips - June 2012

Backing up is easy to do

If there are three things you can be sure of in life, they are Death, Taxes and Computer Failures. Sure, a lawyer and an accountant would help in the former two but you do not need to be an IT 'pro' to address computer failures. It could be as simple as using a USB flash drive or an external hard-drive to backup all your work documents securely on a daily or at the very least weekly basis. Then, it's a simple case of reformatting or buying a new computer and putting all the files back in.

Another method is to save it on a cloud based provider (saved on a far, far away server online but can be accessed wherever and on any device as long as you have your username and password) like Dropbox, Box or Google Drive. One concern here would be the very advantage of this method is its downfall; what happens if your mobile device/tablet goes missing which would give access to those very files. Some action would need to be taken to 'detach' such devices to prevent new work to be uploaded to those devices or at the very least the devices must be locked and/or the files encrypted. There is also an on-going concern as to whether these files can be requested by government authorities by going through the companies providing such a service thus raising the issue of client-solicitor confidentiality.

For larger firms or more advanced setups with servers, you can actually buy a RAID hard drive which would mean another backup hard-drive in your server. This RAID drive will automatically 'mirror' the active hard-drive being used as work is saved. If the latter fails, the second hard-drive will kick in and run without any downtime (well, almost) to your firm at all.

Whatever it is, there is no better time than the present to prepare for computer failures and practising or instituting a backup policy for your firm!

Prepared by Joachim Leong.

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