Feature: Back Up and Protect Your Digital Business

How important is it to take care of the digital side of your creative business?

Whether visual artist, designer, designer maker, photographer or filmmaker every a creative sole trader or SME will have important digital files that need to protected and backed up properly should disaster strike.

As Schofield’s Second Law of Computing asserts, 'data doesn’t really exist unless you have two copies of it’ and as everything from our images to our accounts reside near exclusively in digital form this is more important than ever before .

From cloud computing to hard-drives there are many different storage options for many different aspects of your business.

Cloud computing can be extremely useful for small creative businesses due to it’s flexible nature, and there are a number of platforms most of which offer free storage packages. Strong, secure passwords are essential if you are going to use the Cloud, and different passwords should be used as much as possible (keeping a list of these is also useful, the more passwords we have the more easy they are to forget).

However, cloud computing (and there is no limit to how many platforms you can take advantage of) should not be the only place you store your digital files. A good hard-drive (and more than one is advisable) is also solid and necessary investment for any small creative business or sole trader.

Again, there is a wide range of options when it comes to prices and storage capability. Once you’ve invested in an external hard-drive, there are a number of software packages and services to help you “clone” your data and create bootable back-ups.

CD and DVD storage is yet another to keep track of all your data. Although possibly old fashioned and problematic to store, if kept in cool conditions away from strong light sources CDs and DVDs offer a potential lifespan of up to 10 years, so are useful for making back-ups of specific projects.

However you choose to back-up, the key to successful protection of your data is multiple back-ups both physical and in the Cloud. Back-ups should be made as often as possible and the more places your files exist, the safer they are so save yourself a computer-says-no meltdown and take backing up seriously!