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Diversification is the key to success for many things in life. In addition to having a diversified investment plan, diversification should also play a central role when it comes to devising a backup plan for the data on your computer systems.

The digital world we live in today makes many consumers and companies targets if they are not careful with their information. According to a Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, there were 642 security mishaps in the financial services industry in 2014. Among the 642 cases, 242 were confirmed data losses. This report doesn’t take into account natural disasters and the most common problem, “TPIC,” or The Person In the Chair, mistakes that could cause the loss of precious data.

While some data-loss breaches can’t be avoided, there are strategies that both consumers and small businesses can implement to protect valuable information.

As part of your cyber security plan, one of the critical strategies you need to include is a 3-2-1 backup plan, which is a preferred method in the IT industry.

The 3-2-1 strategy involves having at least three copies of your files, stored on different media devices, in two local areas. For example, two sets of your files could be stored on an external hard drive and a USB drive. Storing copies in different media formats ensures one of the media devices will work. Having two sets of files will also help if you need to get to your files quickly after your computer has crashed or during repairs.

“According to a Verizon 2015 Data Breach Investigations Report, there were 642 security mishaps in the financial services industry in 2014”

The third copy should be stored in a location that is different from where your main server is housed. If your business is damaged by a fire or natural disaster, your files will likely be safe in another location.

In fact, March 31st is the day designated as a reminder to consumers and businesses to have a backup plan. offers simple tips for people to back up their files instead of relying solely on their computer.

Backing up files is critical, according to because it says viruses infect one out of 10 computers every month.

If you want to back up data to the cloud or online storage systems, the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) suggests using a company that will encrypt your data. It also recommends that you read the service provider’s security guidelines to determine whether the provider’s security protocols are in line with industry standards.

While there are companies that can provide a robust backup plan, the US-CERT website’s “Data Backup Options” publication gives the pros and cons for picking different backup strategies. It also states that the plan you choose should be based on your financial resources and level of need.

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