There is no better time of year, than the beginning, to relay some groundwork and fundamentals for good business practice.  

Yes, sometimes there is something so basic, fundamental and common sense that we forget to do it.  Think about buckling your seatbelt or wearing sunscreen or yes, saving your files.

We live in a world that often gives us a false sense of security when it comes to the ability to access and restore our electronic files. We somehow believe that if we forget to save a file, it will still exist somewhere. However, this is typically not the case. Sure, you may have a temporary file that your computer saves despite a hard shut down (thus the ever present Doc1 files), but unfortunately for most of us, those “please, please, please let it be there” moments are when we realize that we should have zigged when we zagged and saved before we “X’d” out of that file.

Best practices suggest that you name and save a file the minute you create it. This will save you from over-writing a template or wasting time recreating something that disappeared when you shut down too fast. Aside from saving you pain, heartache and time, saving files is the only way to ensure that you’re regularly backing them up (assuming you have a backup process in place).  A great rule to abide by is “save and save often.”

But saving your documents regularly is just the first step in keeping your data safe.  The next element is backing up your files. You want to do this regularly because there are a number of ways a file can be unexpectedly lost  such as: computer crashes, a random and aggressive virus (malware), file corruption, a disabled computer, a hard drive failure, computer loss, physical damage, or even theft.

Remember that when considering your data, it could be on more than your desktop, so be sure to also consider your laptop, your desktop, mobile device, memory sticks and any other place you keep your documents and files when identifying what you need to include in your backup processes.

Again, nothing beats best practices.  Saving your documents and having a proper and redundant back up is the best way to avoid the heartache and those “oh, noooooo” moments when you realize all the work you’ve been doing has been for naught.