World Backup Day is March 31: Is your data safe?

It's tax season, do you know where your financial data is? How about the data of your clients?

Hopefully the data is safe, but if exists only on the PCs or servers at your work or home, it's not as safe as it could be.

What would happen if a fire, theft, flood or just a simple computer crash happened? Yes, even servers crash, and whether the data is irreversibly lost from any one of these events, even a two or three day shutdown in the middle of tax season could really put a dent in revenue, and in the trust your clients have in you.

World Backup Day is coming on March 31. No, it's not a holiday, it's a movement by business organizations around the globe to remind personal and business computer users to securely store their data. The organizers explain that the March 31 date is to remind these users not to be "April Fools" with their valuable and sensitive digital files.

Finding and truly using a reliable backup system still proves to be a challenge for many small and mid-sized businesses, though, according to a new study conducted by Spiceworks for cloud backup company Carbonite. The company's online solutions can be set to automatically backup personal or business data on secure and encrypted severs.

Among the key findings of their survey:

Small businesses are unsure about data backup
The Spiceworks study found that 30 percent of small businesses believe their backup plan is insufficient. And in fact, they may be correct -- 45 percent of respondents said their organization had experienced data loss and 14 percent were never able to restore their lost business information.

One of the reasons small businesses lack a formal disaster recovery plan is because they do not have the budget, the survey showed. With an average cost of about $9,000 for a small business to recover their data, a reliable backup plan can act as an inexpensive insurance plan, protecting data before it's too late.

"The most important asset any business has is their data," said Pete Lamson, SVP of Cloud Backup, Carbonite. "Without it, businesses can't keep track of inventory, can't invoice customers, can't run payroll and can't ensure that their business goals are being met. Backup Day is a good reminder to take a look at your current data disaster plan and backup strategy so you can protect your files before the unthinkable happens."

Carbonite's business backup systems start at about $229 per year, automatically backing up an unlimited number of computers for an annual flat fee of $229 with 250GB of storage included. More advanced versions allow additional storage space. S

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