Cloud Backup Best Practices, Services & Top Tips

Small Business Working on a laptop and Smartphone - Credit: Over the last five years,  we moved more and more of our important information from paper storage to our PCs, Smartphones and to Cloud Applications.   When we completed Spring Cleaning this year, we actually eliminated "two 4-draw File Cabinets" with folders  instead of typically adding more of them.


In the past, we only backed up the computerized information daily to external disk drives on site and kept a few of them off-site.

During the last 3-4 years, we added unlimited internet backup services.  We have hundreds of gigabites of data now stored off-site that are available if something happens to our local equipment. They automatically transmit an encrypted copy all our information off-site everyday.  (Note: We test different services to learn how they work and better help our clients).

The backup services are wonderful.  The cost of backing up your Smartphone, Laptop, PC or Mac  has significantly dropped, security is extremely high and the service is easy to implement.  To get started, you download and install a small program from their site on your PC or Mac.  We have our systems set up to backup all changes that occur during the day that night.  All the data is encrypted by the software before it leaves your home or office.  We've tested Mozy, Carbonite and Crashplan. The Transporter drive is next on our list.   So far, knock wood... no problems.

We spend about $120 per year for complete data backups of all PCs/Macs.

Below are some lists we compiled during our evaluation and use of the different Internet Backup Services:

  • 5   Backup Service Benefits
  • 5   Key Questions About Your Current Backup Process
  • 10 Applications to Backup in Your Office
  • 10 Reasons to Backup Your Home Computers
  • 10 Top Ways Data is Distroyed or Lost
  • 2  Top Internet Backup Solutions


5 Backup Service Benefits

  • Set-up is quick and simple
  • Software is easy to install on your PC or Mac
  • Backups are automatic and in the background
  • All files are encrypted on your Computer before transfer for best security
  • Perform incremental backups

5 Key Questions About Your Current Backup Process

Here are five questions to ask yourself about your current computer backup process:

  • How often should you backup your data?
  • Do you backup your data Daily, Weekly or Monthly?
  • Do you keep a copy of your backup in an off-site secure location?
  • Is the data encrypted to increase security?
  • Do employees (or you) leave backup copies in the car while doing errands,  dining or overnight?

10 Applications to Backup in Your Office

  • Customer Information and Order History
  • Sales Forecasts & Leads
  • Customer Service Info
  • Inventory
  • Purchasing / Vendors
  • Accounting- GL, AP & AR
  • Employee - HR - Payroll
  • Marketing Materials & Templates
  • Business Plans, Reports and Calendars
  • eMail, IM and Other Communications

10 Reasons to Backup Your Home Data, Videos, Photos and Music

You may want to think about how you would feel if a fire, flood, robbery or tornado destroyed all the photos and videos of all your:

  • Birthdays
  • Wedding & Anniversaries
  • Graduations
  • Vacations
  • Family BBQ Picnic
  • Grandparents & Grandchildren
  • Financial Statements
  • Sons & Daughters
  • Sisters & Brothers
  • Family Holidays

10 Ways Data Is Destroyed or Lost:

  • Fire or Flood
  • Earthquake
  • Storm / Rain Damage
  • Tornados
  • Delete a File by Mistake
  • Burglary & Robbery
  • Children's Mistakes
  • Virus
  • PC Crashes
  • Lost Smartphone, Laptop or iPods


We get asked all the time.... So which is the best backup company to use for a Small Business or Home Office?    The bottom line is most of the top companies  work extremely well and we don't have a strong preference one way or another.  However, if you have a large amount of back-up data,  at this time CrashPlan has a few more options to speed up the restore process.  We highly recommend Mozy, Carbonite, CrashPlan and DollyDrive to our Friends and Business Clients.

As part of my consulting job at Deloitte and Touche, I use to perform security audits for large data centers and company computer systems.  We would have killed to have these great backup and security products available for our smaller clients.

Top Rated Cloud Backup Services for Small Business (and the Home)

If you want more information on four of the top rated Internet Remote Small Business Backup Services,  you can click the links below. All four services also provide home versions of their services that are ideal for the Family, a Home Office or a Small Office.

Carbonite Business Backup - Gives you secure, automatic & affordable online backup, plus access to your files anytime, anywhere $229 / year

Mozy Backup for Personal and Business - Secure Online Backup for Small Business... and Home Devices

Crashplan - Provides Secure Encrypted Cloud Backup for Small Business and Home Devices

DollyDrive  - Specializes in all Apple devices.  If you have an all Apple Home or Small Business, they have Apple specialists and very good prices on large amounts of data.

The Transporter Private Cloud - Low-Cost Cloud Storage and Backup for people that are concerned about Cloud Backup Security. Highly rated by everyone. We like this product a lot. There are two popular models now:

Transporter Sync Private Cloud - Buy from Amazon

Seagate 1TB SSHD and Drobo Transporter Private Cloud - Buy from Amazon These services protect you from yourself, your employees and criminals.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or please comment below.


Small Business Tips on Sending out eMail this Holiday Season & in the New Year

Are you planning to send out Marketing eMail and eNewsletters in the New Year?  If so,  are you aware of  the relatively new Federal Laws in this area? In addition to following the law, these guidelines are just good business sense and company policy.  Your new and existing customers will appreciate your attention to these details.

An easy way to comply with the law is to use an outsource company for your mass Marketing eMails and eNewsletters. We have been using Vertical Response for the last 5 years.   The service is very easy to use and the customer service is outstanding.

Below is a copy of the Federal Trade Commission Law and a link to their website.  It is very easy to comply with the 7 mandatory requirements.

Federal Trade Commission -  CAN-SPAM US Law

Do you use email in your business? The CAN-SPAM Act, a law that sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

Despite its name, the CAN-SPAM Act doesn’t apply just to bulk email. It covers all commercial messages, which the law defines as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service,” including email that promotes content on commercial websites. The law makes no exception for business-to-business email. That means all email – for example, a message to former customers announcing a new product line – must comply with the law.

Each separate email in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties of up to $16,000, so non-compliance can be costly. But following the law isn’t complicated. Here’s a rundown of CAN-SPAM’s main requirements:

  1. Don’t use false or misleading header information. Your “From,” “To,” “Reply-To,” and routing information – including the originating domain name and email address – must be accurate and identify the person or business who initiated the message.
  2. Don’t use deceptive subject lines. The subject line must accurately reflect the content of the message.
  3. Identify the message as an ad. The law gives you a lot of leeway in how to do this, but you must disclose clearly and conspicuously that your message is an advertisement.
  4. Tell recipients where you’re located. Your message must include your valid physical postal address. This can be your current street address, a post office box you’ve registered with the U.S. Postal Service, or a private mailbox you’ve registered with a commercial mail receiving agency established under Postal Service regulations.
  5. Tell recipients how to opt out of receiving future email from you. Your message must include a clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt out of getting email from you in the future. Craft the notice in a way that’s easy for an ordinary person to recognize, read, and understand. Creative use of type size, color, and location can improve clarity. Give a return email address or another easy Internet-based way to allow people to communicate their choice to you. You may create a menu to allow a recipient to opt out of certain types of messages, but you must include the option to stop all commercial messages from you. Make sure your spam filter doesn’t block these opt-out requests.
  6. Honor opt-out requests promptly. Any opt-out mechanism you offer must be able to process opt-out requests for at least 30 days after you send your message. You must honor a recipient’s opt-out request within 10 business days. You can’t charge a fee, require the recipient to give you any personally identifying information beyond an email address, or make the recipient take any step other than sending a reply email or visiting a single page on an Internet website as a condition for honoring an opt-out request. Once people have told you they don’t want to receive more messages from you, you can’t sell or transfer their email addresses, even in the form of a mailing list. The only exception is that you may transfer the addresses to a company you’ve hired to help you comply with the CAN-SPAM Act.
  7. Monitor what others are doing on your behalf. The law makes clear that even if you hire another company to handle your email marketing, you can’t contract away your legal responsibility to comply with the law. Both the company whose product is promoted in the message and the company that actually sends the message may be held legally responsible.

The CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business

More Inforamation on the FTC Website on CAN-SPAM