As an IT consultant, I will tell you that the single most important service that we provide to our clients is Backup Management. Yet, to many home users, this critical point often goes overlooked.

Very recently, I had someone come to me for help with their home computer that would not start up. The problem ended up being that the hard drive had failed. The computer can be repaired quite easily with a replacement hard drive, but what about the data?

When I asked if there was a backup, he was almost puzzled and said “Why?” – still not realizing the seriousness of the situation.I soon found out that not only were there the usual family photos, music and some email, but all of his personal financial data going back for years, and it is now only a couple weeks before tax day.Now a bad situation has turned worse. We promptly shipped the failed hard drive out to a data recovery service who was able to disassemble the drive a recover the data with specialized equipment.

About a week and twenty five hundred dollars later, I had the computer repaired and all of the data restored.

We are backing up many of your business systems, but take a moment to think about what is on your personal computer. If you do have a backup, when is the last time you checked to see that it is working properly? Backup does not only protect your data from a hardware failure but also keeps it recoverable in the case of viruses or CryptoLockers like WannaCry and Petya.