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Backup: The key to protecting data from ransomware and other disasters

house-fireAuthor Gideon Hodge loves his home, loves his life, and really loves the book he has been writing. In fact, he loves the book so much that he recently risked his life to save it.

A New Orleans based writer, Hodge has been working diligently on the first book of a planned seven-book series in the fantasy/magic genre. So when he came home recently to find his house in flames and firefighters everywhere, he knew he had little choice but to run into the burning house to try and rescue the book that sat inside his laptop.

Why did he risk his life to save his manuscript?

Because he had not backed it up.

What Hodge went through is not unlike the sinking feeling that any small business person might experience upon seeing that their computer had been hijacked and encrypted with ransomware. The key thing to remember is that the best way to protect your digital work from fires—like the one Hodge experienced—and also floods, theft and ransomware, is to back up your data early and often.

In Hodge’s case, as he later told Inside Edition, “Basically, I just made sure I had a point of entry where no one was going to be able to stop me because I knew they wouldn’t want me in the building,” he said. “There was a perimeter of firefighters and a lot of official looking people there and I knew if I asked they would say no, so I found an opening and ran through.”

And yes, he saved the laptop – in the nick of time.

Hodge’s fiancé was stunned at his brazenness. “I was really angry,” she said. “I thought, ‘my God, what if the roof had fallen in on him? What if the fire had engulfed the living room when he was in there?’” Asked what he would do if he were to find himself in the same situation again, the author said, “I wouldn’t change anything,” but admitted that he is now regularly backing up his work.

And that is what you need to do as well. No, you may not be an author who risks losing hundreds of hours of work by not backing up your hard drive, but your intellectual capital, business records, data, customer lists, invoices, and work product are no less important.

Given that there is an epidemic of ransomware out there now and that small businesses are the target of 60% of all hack attacks these days, it is incumbent upon savvy small business owners to take as many precautions as necessary to keep their data safe. And that means backing up, regularly.

How do you do that? The easiest and best way that I know if is to use a streaming online backup service like the one offered by my friends at Carbonite. All you need to do is sign up and login and the service automatically backs up all of your data, all the time. All you need is a computer and an internet connection.

That way, no matter what happens–be it a fire or malware–you will be covered. And getting your files ba

ck won’t require you to risk your life.

For more on how to protect your data from ransomware, visit the FightRansomware.com homepage today!

Steve StraussAbout Steve Strauss

Steve Strauss is often called the “most popular small business columnist in America.” The senior USA TODAY small business columnist, Steve is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post, ABC News, Yahoo, and many other outlets. He is a best-selling author of 17 books, including The Small Business Bible and is a recovering attorney who regularly speaks around the country and around the world about entrepreneurship and global trends in business. Steve is also often asked to be the small business spokesperson for companies like Microsoft, Bank of America, Dun & Bradstreet, Staples, and so on. He is the Editor-in-Chief of Small Business Connection, and sits on the board of the World Entrepreneurship Forum and the national advisory boards of SCORE and P&G Pro. Whether it be blogs, video, live streaming, e-books or what have you, his company, The Strauss Group, creates cutting-edge business content for everyone from Fortune 50 companies to small chambers of commerce. His latest venture is the tech startup, TheSelfEmployed.

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