VOL. 130 | NO. 153 | Friday, August 7, 2015
Be Prepared for That Inevitable Computer Crash
By Patrick Tamburrino
Editor’s note: This is the second part of a series on being nimble and proactive with technology in the small-business world.
Recently our team received a flood of support requests for failed hard drives. Users were frantic to salvage documents or key projects from their devices. Fortunately we were able to recover quite a few. But each instance serves as a reminder that success is 90 percent preparation and 10 percent perspiration.
Having a hard drive crash is the last thing a small business needs, as it can interfere with daily business tasks. At the worst case, and particularly for businesses that run point-of-sale systems or financials from their computer system, a hard drive crash can paralyze employees and customers, bringing workflow to a halt.
Many warranties on hard drives are only valid for 12 months. But with a little proactive care, you can prolong hard drive life, squeeze more return on investment from your company’s equipment, and avoid the catastrophic loss of data. Here are some tips to minimize the risk of losing everything you have saved digitally:
Use group collaboration platforms. Google Docs (Drive) for producing and maintaining files. Many Fortune 500 companies use this cloud-based platform to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations for real-time sharing and editing across remote groups of people.
Save documents and images in multiple places. This includes on your desktop and company server, and via archiving important notes on email. Also consider backing up your smartphone to the cloud to allow the storing of photos without taking up valuable space on your device, and using tools like DropBox for file sharing.
When on deadline, refrain from streaming-related applications. Playing radio or video on your computer, phone or device while on a company network can greatly slow down Internet speed, particularly on circuits with growing user populations. While many workers now use SiriusXM, Pandora and Spotify during the workday, those services are usually not mission-critical for the task at hand and can affect everyone else on the team. Unnecessary Internet traffic can also cause technology to freeze or to be forced to shut down.
Understand the dangers of public Wi-Fi. Whether or not the provider gives you a password, you are still sharing a network and thus putting your personal and company data at risk. Next time you’re working remotely, turn off all of your share settings in order to inhibit hacker access. Remember to turn on your Windows Firewall (under your security settings) and only browse websites with the “https” prefix.
It’s not a matter of if your server or hard drive will crash. It’s when. Being prepared now can spare you from a massive loss later.
Patrick Tamburrino is the president of tamburrino inc. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.