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Data Backup: Top 7 Steps to Protect your Computer from Hurricanes

By Sol Spencer

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Having lived in West Central Florida for the past 15 years, Iíve been given some insight into the sometimes scary reality of Mother Nature. This past summer Iíve had the displeasure of meeting four characters, first hand...Charley, Frances, Jeanne and Ivan. Yes, Iím talking about Hurricanes.

For all the advantages one has with personal computers or a high-tech home office setup, there are huge disadvantages to being plugged in during the approach of a serious storm: the loss of data can be devastating. While it's simple enough to log off, shut down and unplug at the first warning signs, you might want to take a few extra steps to preserve information that is vital to a business or the family archives. In the best of circumstances an ounce of prevention will result in countless returns. A little foresight can make the difference between having usable equipment or a pile of water-soaked junk.

  1. Along with other valuable property, document what you own with a videotape or camera. Save copies of purchase receipts. Be sure the electric wiring in your home or business is properly grounded and that all voltage-sensitive equipment is grounde

  2. Battery backup: Purchase electronic equipment with a back-up battery or capacitor to retain settings should a momentary power disturbance occur. Consider purchasing protective equipment which can help against lethal storm and electrical conditions. Un-interruptible Power Supply (UPS) maintains power to critical loads during power outages.

  3. Surge Protectors: Make sure the suppressor has 3-way protection and is UL (Underwriters Laboratory) listed for compliance with the 1449 TVSS (Transient Voltage Surge Suppressor) standard. Features of the plug-in type surge protector include multiple outlets, on/off switches, audible alarms, and indicator lights to let you know the suppressor is working, and connections for telephone or data cable lines.

  4. Back up your computer's hard drive. Make duplicate copies of your files and store them in two separate locations such as a deposit box or home of a relative. Find safe harbor for your data. The best solution would be an online data backup service (also known as remote backup or offsite backup). This will give you the protection you need all year around.

  5. Make an assessment of storage options for software and hardware equipment. Look for a central place in the building or home. Ideal location has no windows. The major cause of damage to computer hardware and software will be from rain and wind. Broken doors and windows will allow the wind with its rain and debris to blow through buildings. By moving computer equipment (i.e. monitors, CPUs, printers, keyboards) to protected locations and wrapping with plastic, the chances of damage will be greatly reduced. Double wrap equipment in plastic garbage bags to reduce rain/water damage. If equipment is to be located directly on the floor, take into consideration the possible effects of flooding. Set items on a table. Place equipment on or in water resistant objects, such as garbage cans.

  6. Unplug all equipment including computers networked to other computers. As a major storm begins to pummel the area, the chances of severe power fluctuations are very high as electrical transmission lines and power plants are affected. These power fluctuations can have serious consequences on any equipment left plugged in or turned on.

  7. After the storm. Be careful when reconnecting equipment to wall outlets and rebooting. If there is any indication that outlets, equipment or flooring has been exposed to water or moisture, wait until the equipment is thoroughly dried out - that might mean waiting a few days. To save expensive equipment, test outlets by plugging in an inexpensive lamp first to make sure the outlet is safe.

Sol Spencer helps computer users have the peace of mind that only a secure, online backup can provide. What would you do if you lost all of your data today? With Safe Harbor Data, you can restore your entire computer with one download! Amazingly affordable and effective, Safe Harbor protects your data with state-of-the-art encryption. Whether you run an online business, work from home, use your computer for online banking, school or more, your data isn't safe until it is backed up and stored in a safe place away from your home or office. Get the peace of mind that comes with secure, online backup today for only pennies each day. http://www.safeharbordata.com

Source: http://Top7Business.com/?expert=Sol_Spencer

Article Submitted On: November 19, 2004