Disadvantages of External Hard Drive and Flash Drive BackupsDeryck Burnett of Megabite in Fernandina Beach sent me the following list of disadvantages when relying on external hard drives and flash drives as backups for my computer.

A specialist in IT Management, I trust Deryck for the most current information when it comes technical infrastructure.

“Backing up your critical data to an external hard drive provides minimal protection against one type of data loss – hard drive failure.

• External hard drives are failure-prone
External drives are subject to the same data loss risks as internal drives – viruses, worms, corruption, etc, as well as vulnerable to environmental factors such as sunlight, heat, humidity, liquids, dust and magnetic fields.
• Portable drives are easily damaged
External hard drives and flash drives are portable, and therefore easily damaged. Flash drives are small, so they’re very susceptible to getting lost, going through the laundry or getting stepped on.
• External hard drives are vulnerable
Unless they’re taken offsite every night (which rarely happens on a regular basis), external hard drives and flash drives fail to protect against site-level disasters including fires, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning or earthquakes. Onsite media are also prone to theft and sabotage.
• Security is limited
Most hard drives aren’t encrypted or even password-protected. If your hard drive or flash drive is lost or stolen, your information is available to anyone who plugs the device into a computer.
• Unreliable file versioning
File versioning is difficult to set up on external media, and often requires frequent manual cleanup of old files. If you back up to an external hard drive once per day, you’re often left with a single backup to rely on instead of multiple file versions.
• No support in case of a disaster
When your data is gone, where will you turn for help? If you back up to an external drive, you’re on your own, or will be forced to hire professional IT support at an expensive hourly rate.”

“So, Deryck,” I asked, “what’s a girl to do?”

Deryck is a fan of not putting all of your eggs into one baskets, and suggests using a combination of methods. “Critical data should be backed up on external drives and the cloud.”

ALL data on your computer, that is important to you, should be backed up. All of those music downloads would cost a fortune to replace! Consider your important documents, family photographs, and videos. Things that would be expensive to re-create should be backed up too, like your business’s ad copy and marketing materials.

In the medical practice, patient information and images are required to be kept secure and private!

Remote Data Backups, Inc. is a HP Partner and operates as a Managed Service Provider (MSP), headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado, and they said, “The Federal government is now mandating that medical/healthcare related and financial organizations have secure offsite data backup plans in place to comply with HIPAA, HITECH and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements. Electronic Medical Records (EMR) software vendors also have the responsibility to ensure their cloud based backup solutions are 100% compliant.”

Whether you are backing up your personal computer information, or backing-up your business computers is now a federal mandate, give Deryck a call for more details and some great advice. His number is: (904) 430-0350.

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