Hurricane season is quickly approaching and preparedness is needed for you, your family, office and your computers. We've listed some important preparedness steps below that you can take to help safeguard the valuable data on your computers:
1) BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP! It's important to keep a regular backup of your data files such as accounting records, important documents, music files and digital pictures. With the backup technology available today, it's an easy and very inexpensive proposition for your personal computers or your office computers and servers. Remember to keep your backup files at a completely different location, otherwise known as "off-site". You can take your backup device to your safe deposit box, a friend or relatives house, or you could use an off-site backup service. There are also a miriad of external backup drives available on the market that are VERY easy to use and inexpensive.
2) Plug your computers into an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS). UPS's offer you a temporary power for your computer to allow you to shut it down properly. In an office environment, it's extremely important that you have a UPS on your network server and that the server is setup to automatically shut-down if there is an interruption in the power. UPS's also offer you better lightning-strike protection and some offer you an insurance policy if it doesn't work properly and damage is done to your computer due to UPS failure.
3) Take your laptop with you. In the event that you evacuate, make sure to take your laptop with you so you can stay in contact with your friends, family and office to let them know that you are safe. With free communications programs like Skype (www.skype.com), you can even make phone calls through the Internet in the event that cellular-towers are down or over-burdened.
4) Cover your PC's and/or servers. If your computers are left to 'stick-out the storm,' it's a good idea to cover them with plastic and remove them from the floor. Place covered computers in a closet or other cabinet so they don't get thrown around if wind becomes an issue inside of your house or office. Be sure to turn them off and unplug them from all electric sources when they are covered with plastic to eliminate heat-related damage.