System Risk - Knowing how to Protect Your Valuable Information
How much of your value as a freelancer or independent contractor is associated with information you have on your computer/s. A good way to answer this question is to image the worst and consider what happens if you were to lose all your computers in one go. How would you continue to run your business? How would you recover?
How long would it take you? Can you recover at all or would you have to start again? It is so easy to underestimate the 'wealth' we have tied up on our hard disks. A recent example bought this issue to mind. A friend of mine is a lecturer and lost her hard disk; it crashed. Worse still she had no strategy in place to protect the valuable data stored. She lost years of prepared lectures and related resource material. Luckily and at great expense, she was able to send the disk to a technical specialist who was able to recover most of the lost information.
As a Xmas present to yourself we strongly recommend that you take this year-end opportunity to review your IT Risk and take assertive action. I can assure you it's much cheaper than losing the lot or paying an expert vast amounts to recover it for you.
So what to do?
1) Undertake a Risk Assessment. Studies show that the average cost to micro-business of catastrophic down time is $30,000. 30% had no backup strategies in place. Symantec provides a free Risk Assessment tool that can help you determine your exposure. Click here to evaluate your risk.
2) Ensure that you have a back-up strategy for your computers, iPads, and any other information where you are storing data. Click here for a Microsoft discussion paper on the subject. It is also worth noting that using products like Dropbox (see October 10 Newsletter) provide and excellent mechanism for backing up and keeping synchronised business critical data.
3) Update your Security Software. Running outdated or inadequate security software can open the door for hackers to access your computer network. Their target is generally financial and customer information which they use for indentify theft and monetary gain with the cost to your business being considerable. New virus attacks are being released daily so it's important to have the virus software update itself at regular intervals. In this way you'll be able to stay ahead of the game. Click here to try Symantec's Free Security check of your computer/s that provides a report on the current vulnerability of your system and any virus that may be present.
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This article was published in the Australia Freelance Market-News 61.