In the fifth of our series of informative articles on the honest way to earn an income online, we look at some of the basic but important things you need to do to protect your data.
When starting your own internet business, you will accumulate a lot of information in the form of ebooks, software and data files and it so often happens to newcomers to this trade that one day all of this data is sitting safely on the hard drive of your computer and the next - CRASH - it's all gone!
So in this short article, we'll take a look at some of the basic measures everyone should take to ensure the safety of all that precious data.
Take Regular Backups!
Back it up! Don't be caught red faced with a dead hard drive and all your months of hard work instantly gone. Take regular backups of your data files. The cheapest way to do this nowadays is to burn a copy of all your documents, downloaded ebooks and software onto a CD-R. Not just once, either.
This is something that you should put in your schedule "To Do" list once a week at the very least. Once a day is better if you are writing lots of articles or downloading lots of new data daily. Then take the precious backup and store it somewhere other than your office. A fireproof basement or even another building is best so that in a disaster situation, at least your priceless data is safe.
The choice of backup media is quite varied these days, so if you want faster backups, you can use memory sticks that come in sizes ranging from 128 megabytes up to a staggering 64 gigabytes. There are external USB hard drives of 500 Gigabytes to 2 or even 3 Terrabytes (if you have that much data to back up) and the price of these items just keeps dropping. There are zip drives and even the good old floppy if your budget is that tight, but whatever you use, use it often and regularly.
Track it in a Spreadsheet
Another little lifesaver is a spreadsheet file to keep all of your various sign-in usernames and passwords that you use for all of your online resources. Update it every time you sign up to a new program or forum or whatever so you'll always have an easy to get at copy of that important information at your fingertips. Then back it up along with all your other important stuff. Better still, print out the latest copy, place it in an envelope and store it with your backup CDs or whatever media you use. Then at least if the worst happens, you have a hard copy of all your passwords.
Email accounts are another potential problem for the newcomer to internet business. So many people fall into the trap of signing up with a free email provider like yahoo or hotmail or aol. These are fine for personal emails, but for a professional looking email address, something like:
is just not going to cut it with the serious customer. Get professional web hosting that will cost you less than ten dollars a month and you'll get a professional looking email account thrown in for free. Then you can have something like:
Now doesn't that look more professional?
As well as the professional looking aspect, another even more important advantage over free email accounts is that you have an infinitely better chance of receiving that important email from your next big customer than you would with a free email account. That is because free accounts have such stringent spam filters that a lot of genuine emails simply don't get delivered if they look even slightly suspicious.
How often have you been phoned by a friend who says, "Didn't you get my last email?" then you look again and it's not there. It happens often with free accounts. Not so with your professional email account.
Business Phone Number
A business phone is an important item on your list as you don't want a potential client phoning you on your house phone that can be answered by your five year old child who is in the middle of a screaming tantrum. You don't have to set up a dedicated second phone line, a mobile phone will do just as long as it is used only for business.
Ant-virus software and a good firewall for your computer are also necessities these days. All sorts of internet lowlife are trying to get into your computer to see what you are doing, look at your data or worse, steal or destroy that data. So it makes good horse sense to keep them out of your hard drive if you want to channel all of your computer time to running your business and not wasting time disinfecting your hard drive of trojans, spyware, virus software and other nasties.
A good text editor is important for writing your articles on. Not everone has Microsoft products on their computers, some simply can't afford them while other simply don't like them. A great rival to Microsoft Office ia a free package called Libre Office and it contains similar packages, with a word processor, spread sheet, publishing suite and presentation package and the best of it is it's all FREE! you can download Libre Office at http://www.libreoffice.org/.
These are just some of the basic things that you need to ensure your online business can survive a major disaster as well as keeping it running while things are fine. Some of these things are so often overlooked even by seasoned professionals until the day they find themselves in a situation where they can only bang their head against a wall and repeat to themselves, "Why didn't I do those backups...".
In the next chapter in this series of articles about starting your own business online, we will look at setting up your own domain name and web hosting.
NEXT ARTICLE #6 >> Domain Names and Hosting