Have a Better Backup Plan Than This One

Secure your computer's data with appropriate backup plansThe whole U.S., it seems, has been watching a local story unfolding here in Ohio about Jessie Davis. She’s the pregnant woman whose boyfriend now has been charged with murder.

But there’s another local story getting national and even international attention — in tech circles. That’s the story of how an Ohio government computer tape was stolen from a summer intern’s car. The tape contained sensitive personal and financial information about 64,000 state employees and an undisclosed number of taxpayers, along with much much more data.

Unfortunately, these stories about lost data are becoming all too common. What makes this particular story so notable is that apparently state officials said the summer intern’s possession of the tape was a standard practice for data backup.


Yes, that’s right. To back up data, the state would send a tape home with someone on a rotating basis. That was the backup plan.

So now the state has shelled out $700,000 to pay for identity theft protection for state employees and potentially others whose data appeared on the tape. It would have cost a fraction of that to store backups in a secure backup location in the first place.

Let’s hope you have a better backup plan for your business’s data.


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

5 Reactions
  1. Solo Business Marketing

    It took a backup system’s crash to teach me how to properly back up my material, a story which I shared with my audience in How to Back Up Your Data (http://solobusinessmarketing.com/blog/nfblog/?p=306).

    I, too, have read stories about laptops stolen from car trunks and other such places. Actually, I’m not surprised that governments have antiquated processes in place. They don’t place a premium on data (I can now say this post-personal crisis), so it’s up to individuals to secure their sensitive information as much as possible.

    It’s also imperative that small and solo business owners safeguard their clients’ data.

    This is not the last time we’ll hear about stolen government data, that’s for sure.

  2. I’ve had my own experiences with lost data, too. Now I use Carbonite’s online backup solution and I love it. Automatically backs up my computer’s files and now I don’t need to worry anymore! For the minimal fee involved, the peace of mind gained is definitely worth it.

  3. Wow, that’s really scary that they leave something like that in the hands of an intern. You would think it would be much safer locked up somewhere.

  4. Alot of security procedures failing out there lately…it’s a lot scary! Agree with Anita. A secure backup saves for a lot of money lost.

  5. I dont understand why people still use tape to back up extremely important files. Nowadays everyone should be moving towards online backup. Its safer, cheaper and just better at its job overall. I, like Chris, use Carbonite online backup. Not only does it back up my files to a network, so it cant be physically stolen, it also is encrypted when entering the network, making it even safer. It’s only 50 dollars and has worked great. It makes no sense that people haven’t switched over to a product like Carbonite yet.