(Updated in February, 2013 to note that I now personally use and recommend SpiderOak.)
If your computer gets destroyed, your hard drive corrupted or your files accidentally deleted what will you do?
Are you backing up your data? If so, how are you doing the backups? Do you simply have a second hard drive hooked up to your computer? What happens if your entire office is damaged and both your computer and the back-up drive get destroyed? Not likely? Actually very likely if there is a fire, a flood, or a robbery.
Given the risks of data corruption or loss it is crucial to have an off-site back up of your data. It is also important that whatever you choose as a backup system be secure so your client data is not at risk. It is also wise to have an automated backup so you don’t need to remember to do the backup yourself.
The old way of backing up computers is to run a backup (either automated or not) that has the data go to a hard drive, USB drive or even tape drive. Then someone takes the backup off site to keep the data safe should the entire office be damaged.
There is a new way though, and it is to take advantage of the Cloud (online.)
A variety of services, most for under $100 a year, can provide what a small firm needs. Larger firms will need to look into alternative (and more expensive) options.
For small firms, take a look at choices such as SOS (allows you to backup up to 5 computers for under $100/year,) Norton, MiMedia and others. This article from PC Online does a great job at looking at 10 different online services.