I am a fanatic about backing up data. This probably stems from a mishap in college that included a semester project, a floppy disk and an errant piece of sand. Unfortunately, it usually takes a catastrophic loss of data before people get serious about data backup.
The truth of the matter is that data loss happens. It could be a result of hard drive failure, virus, theft, fire, flood and human error. No matter what the source, you need to make sure that you have a backup procedure in place that includes off-site data storage (if your backup is in your house when it catches fire, it will do you no good).
Of the real estate agents that I know, very few have a backup procedure in place. Reasons I hear for not having a backup procedure in place include:
- “My computer is brand new”
- “Data loss doesn’t happen that often”
- “Backing up is too time consuming”
- And my personal favorite, “I don’t really need anything on my computer anyway”.
In response to these excuses I say:
- “Even new hard drives can crash”
- “Data loss is more frequent than you may think and computer theft is even more frequent”
- “A good backup procedure should take no effort once set-up”
- “You have got to be kidding! Your client database and marketing pieces add no value to your real estate business and hence are dispensable?”
In an effort to get every real estate agent who reads Technology for Real Estate to implement a backup procedure, I will be showcasing a different backup solution each week for the next several weeks. The first solution that I will be discussing is Carbonite, an Internet-based backup solution.
Carbonite is a revolutionary backup solution that is cheap, easy to setup and requires no maintenance. Upon registration, the user simply downloads and installs the Carbonite program from http://www.carbonite.com/. That is it!
By default, data folders such as the My Documents folder and Outlook data files are automatically backed up to the Carbonite servers whenever changes are made and an Internet connection is available. Additional files and folders can be added to the backup regiment with a few simple clicks. Colored dots on the folder and file icons provide quick backup status information.
As far as security is concerned, Carbonite encrypts the data before transmission to its servers making the technology a secure backup solution.
For a mere $49.95 a year, Carbonite provides unlimited backup storage capacity. This is one of the most cost-effective and easiest backup solutions available. It provides off-site backup, which safeguards against theft, fire, flood or other natural disaster. Carbonite also safeguards against errant file deletion, allowing you to restore documents that you might have deleted from your computer by accident.
If no-maintenance, cheap and easy data backup seems too good to be true, give Carbonite’s technology a try and see for yourself. Carbonite offers a 15 day risk-free trial that requires no credit card for registration.