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How to create a backup plan for Office 365

Your Microsoft Office 365 subscription ensures that you have the tools to do your best work from any device, anytime, anywhere—but in the event that something happens to your data, how can you restore it? What if you accidentally delete or lose an important file? To be safe, it’s wise to prepare yourself with backup solutions from Microsoft and other third-party vendors before disaster strikes.

Install the Microsoft Office 365 Backup Tool

The Office 365 Backup Tool is an easy way to generate a cloud-to-cloud copy of your entire Microsoft Office 365 subscription. The tool works with both personal and business subscriptions and can back up Office 365 data (such as email, calendar items, documents, contacts, etc.) from one location to another. For example, you could back up all data from your work computer’s Office 365 subscription to an external hard drive at home; that way if something ever happens to your work computer or files get corrupted by malware or hackers, you have another copy of all your data available online.

Choose your backup location

You have three choices when it comes to picking where you want your backup of Office 365 data stored. You can have it stored locally on an external hard drive, which means you’ll have an extra copy of your files if something happens with your computer or cloud storage, but you’ll need a new hard drive in case of failure. You can have it stored in another cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive; however, those services do not provide redundancy against local hardware failure. Your final option is to upload your data directly into Amazon Glacier; however, that will be more expensive and slower than your other options. Make sure you think about how important it is that your data is 100% recoverable in case of catastrophe before committing to an option.

Set your backup schedule

Office 365 admins are responsible for deciding how often they’ll back up their data. This is an important decision because backups need to happen at certain intervals in order to protect against different kinds of failure. If your data isn’t backed up, you can lose it all in an instant, which is never good news (unless you have frequent backups). Making sure that your Office 365 files are backed up means that you can always restore them if something goes wrong; here’s some advice on how best to set your schedule

Review your backups

Microsoft Office 365 is an incredible productivity solution, but it’s not always perfect. If your data gets lost or corrupted, Microsoft doesn’t have an easy way to recover it—you need some backups of your own. To prevent you from losing critical information, set up some basic backups and verify them on a regular basis. You can use an off-site backup service like Backblaze or Carbonite or even just rely on one of their competitors. Or you can keep everything local by simply making copies of your files onto external drives. Make sure all of these solutions are simple enough that you actually use them and consistent enough that you don’t lose vital information in the meantime.

Creating an offsite copy of your data

If you’re currently using Microsoft Office 365 and don’t already have an offsite backup solution in place, it might be time to look into setting one up. In many ways, your data on Microsoft Office 365 is safer than it would be in another cloud-based storage environment: Because it’s held by Microsoft, you can expect around-the-clock protection from Microsoft itself—and your data will stay safe even if your local network isn’t accessible. The best way to stay secure is a two-pronged approach: Make sure that every piece of information stored on your cloud server is backed up automatically (it can even happen overnight) and ensure that all backups are encrypted.

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