Between bookkeeping, keeping everything in order, watching competitors, and more – it becomes easy for the average business owner to ignore key fundamentals to ensure their online presence is as secure as their physical ones. While you hopefully already have computer backups in place, what about your corporate social media and Google Apps accounts? Have you been backing up your company website after updates are made? Just because your data is hosted elsewhere doesn’t mean it is fully protected. Between the massive data failures of Google and Amazon during 2011, and numerous other providers, the prevailing rule remains: No matter where your data is stored, it always pays to have a copy on hand locally, over which you have full control.
Backupify is a service that covers all the key social media players in their service. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Apps, and others are all supported out of the box with a fairly straightforward setup. Simply select the services you want to back up, enter the credentials, allow Backupify access to your data, and from there you will have nightly or weekly backups of all your data, depending on your settings.
A free plan is offered, which supports up to three accounts, weekly backups, and provides up to 1GB of storage, while $5/month allows for five accounts, nightly backups, and up to 10GB of storage. For larger companies, or agencies managing client accounts, there is a $20/month plan, which provides unlimited storage and unlimited accounts along with nightly backup. Additionally, Backupify supports a Google Apps account backup for $3/month per user, which includes 25GB of storage.
Overall, setting up Backupify is fairly straightforward; simply link the accounts you want to back up (in most cases Backupify will not see user credentials as social media sites treat it as an app), and from there, Backupify will download data as scheduled and save it accordingly.
As Backupify uses Amazon Simple Storage, you can be assured that your data is in one of the top data storage facilities around. Aside from conforming to numerous security standards, a key aspect of Amazon’s center is redundancy, meaning that when using Backupify, there will always be more than one copy of your data on hand as a fallback, should one center go down. Features such as this are typically standard with most data centers, however it’s not something the average small business owner can implement on their own.
Although most social media sites now offer users the option to back up their data themselves, Backupify provides value by automating the backup schedule and also keeping running archives of data so if something happens to one backup, the losses are mitigated.
For those who prefer to handle backups themselves, you’ll have to check the social media sites for their specific back up instructions, however, for Google Apps Backupify recently released a tool called Snapshot, which allows users to export accounts to their computers for free. Even if you don’t care to have your data stored by Backupify or another provider, Snapshot is a must have tool for any business owner, as it provides a simple way to export essential data for free.
Moving on from social media, website backups are another area with plenty of room for improvement. While there are plenty of offerings and tools out there, which claim to make the task more palatable, the field is still a minefield of solutions, which have far from comforting performance records – mainly due to users not knowing how to use the tools.
Code Guard solves this issue by literally being, “a time machine for your website.” Similar to Backupify, Code Guard works behind the scenes to keep a running backup of your website files. Unlike most stock backup tools from web companies, Code Guard stands out in that it allows you to see where files have been changed between backups, allowing you to spot malicious activity, and even to restore files to a specific date or version rather than having to override everything else.
Code Guard has a simple setup – simply provide your FTP credentials and from there the program will handle the backup process. Just to be security conscious, if possible, it always pays to create an FTP account just for Code Guard, as that way if things go haywire or you want to choke off access, you can do so quickly. Additionally, it can help your server admin when it comes to monitoring activity to ensure that everything is on the up and up.
Overall pricing for the service is very reasonable for the peace of mind provided. The free plan provides 2GB of storage and manual backup capabilities, plus a weekly email detailing any changes on your website. For users who want differential tracking, malware scanning, and automated backups – the Basic (starting at $7.95/month for a 12 month period, or $16.50 pay as you go) and Pro Plans (starting at $11.95/month for a 12 month period, or $24.95 pay as you go) provide those needs.
The key differences are that the basic version only covers one site, provides 2GB of storage, and does monthly auto backups. The pro plan provides unlimited site support, 25GB of storage, and weekly backups.
Regardless of the effectiveness of the tools mentioned above, the important thing to keep in mind as a business owner is that even your online files and accounts should have backup policies similar to on-premise contingency plans, because disaster can strike at any time, and at any place, and as such it always pays to keep at least two copies of all your vital data in your control.
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