018: How To Backup Your Digital Systems and Feel Secure (Digital Disaster Plan)


What’s your digital recovery plan? I’m betting you don’t have one, but I hope I’m wrong. This is a juicy episode, and really important, so save this one so you can reference it later. When things go wrong with your digital systems, what are you going to do? We pay for health insurance, life insurance and many others, so why not be prepared with your digital insurance? Don’t be afraid to pay for services that protect your digital assets.

Discussed In This Episode:

  • What is a digital recovery plan?
  • What will you do if PayPal locks your account?
  • What happens if your website crashes or is hacked?
  • Accidentally delete your email contacts?
  • What will you do if the apps on your phone don’t work?
  • Password manager loses all the files?
  • What if your project manager app crashes?
  • Why you might want to have an IT partner

Mentioned in this episode:

Other Helpful links:

Welcome to Coffee Powered Systems, equipping women with actionable steps to overcome, overwhelm and streamline business and life. So grab your favorite drink and come hang out with me. I'm your host, Miranda Merten. Hi, friends. Welcome back to Coffee Powered Systems. This is Miranda, and it's Friday. Today I'm going to talk to you about your digital backup plan. Do you have a recovery plan in place? If something goes wrong, if your computer crashes or your phone falls down the toilet?

What are you going to do? Do you have a plan? Scrambling and getting confused, especially in a time when something goes wrong, is not going to be helpful. So this episode is all about planning ahead and basically getting your digital insurance game in order.

This is going to be a big, juicy episode. So I want you to go ahead and save this one in your podcast player so you can reference it later. Also, everything that I mention will be down in the show notes or you can visit Miranda Merten dot com forward, slash 18 for all of the links that are mentioned. So don't worry about scrambling to write things down. So let's get right to it. What am I talking about when I say a digital recovery plan?

Well, we have insurance for so many things. We have car insurance. Health insurance. Life insurance. What's going to happen if and in most cases when something goes wrong? Are you prepared for it? And I don't mean just the big huge. My computer crashed and I've lost everything and my whole business world is gone. That usually doesn't happen. But we do want to be prepared in case it does happen. But I also want to bring to attention some of the small things that we don't even think about until it goes wrong.

And when it already goes wrong, it's already too late. Right. Something goes wrong. And then we're like, oh, I should have had that backed up. I should have had another version of that. I want to discuss the types of things that you want to have in mind ahead of time and give you some solutions of how to take care of those, you know, so you can sleep better at night. Now it's superimportant. We have no problem paying for insurance.

Like I mentioned, the other different types of insurances we have. So don't be afraid to pay for services that protect your digital assets as well. Some of these aren't even super expensive. You can get a lot of these at a low cost, probably because you will be paying for them for a longer period of time. Like a life insurance plan. You might pay five or ten dollars a month for this plan. But if something happens, then you know it's there and you feel a whole lot better about it.

So as I go through these, I want you to think of others things that are relevant to your business and your systems. You might have things set up in your business that I don't or I may discuss something that isn't really relevant to you. So I want you to think about things that you use on a regular basis, on a daily or monthly basis, and how you can really make sure that if something happens, you wouldn't be scrambling. In that case.

So let's go through some scenarios. First of all, let's talk about how you're getting paid. What if pay pal or stripe locks your account? That does happen. And I know it happens more often than some of these other things might happen. Or, for instance, if you have a large payment, there's some payments that go over a certain amount of money where your payment is locked. Maybe you're expecting that 20 thousand dollars to hit your bank account, but it's too much and they're going to flag it so that they can check it for validity.

You want to make sure that you have a plan in place for those or maybe your account just gets locked for pay. Pelin Stripe, specifically. I want to encourage you to make sure that you're transferring those payments out on a regular interval stripe, automatically transfers those payments out on a daily basis. If you receive money through PayPal, make sure you're transferring out when you get it. Or, you know, if you have a membership site, you're constantly getting money in there.

So maybe set up some time daily or weekly. That way, if something happens to PayPal or they get hacked, all of your money's in your bank account. It's not locked up. All right. So what about if your Web site gets hacked? Have you ever thought about security on your Web site if your Web site is just sitting there open? Anybody can walk in. You might be thinking I'm too small. Nobody cares about my Web site.

Who's going to find it anyways to be hacking into it? Maybe. But if you leave your Web site open, that also leaves it available for anyone to go in there, see your information, grab your stuff, which is especially important if you have customers logging into your Web site. What happens in that case? Do you have somebody protecting your the security of your Web site? In this case, you want to have a Web site security account like security or Moul care.

And I'll drop those down in the show notes. So don't worry about the spelling for that. But companies like that will monitor your Web site. Keep them safe. Keep the malware off. And it doesn't usually cost a lot. Probably a couple hundred dollars for the whole year, one to two hundred dollars, depending on where you go. For small businesses. If your business is larger, of course, you might pay a little bit more for that.

What happens if your Web site crashes along the same lines? You want to be able to have a backup for your website? Crashing backup data methods include backing up in the cloud using an external hard drive. If you're thinking for your entire Web site, there are companies like Crash Plan or Carbonite that will help you get your Web site backup. And so you want to go ahead and check those out, have set thing in place. I have had a Web site crash before a full on Web site, and I could not get it back working.

The whole thing was shot and I just had to let it go. This was years ago. But you don't want to be in that situation. It's not a good feeling. You want to be able to if your Web site crashed, or, it goes down immediately. Call your people up and say, hey, something's up with my Web site. Can you fix it? This is not an area of expertise of most people. So you definitely want to have someone in your corner that you can go to pretty quickly without having to scramble.

There's nothing worse than trying to search on the Internet to figure out how to fix your crash computer. All right. Let's talk about your email platform. What about if your email platform deletes your contacts or, you know, that's probably not as feasible of a situation. But what if you decide you want to transfer some of your contacts over from one list to another? Maybe you have 10 different lists in your back end of your email and you're trying to simplify.

So you go ahead and you hit collect all emails and you try to move them over to one giant email list. But instead of transferring, you hit, delete and all of your emails are gone. That would be terrible. It's terrible feeling. Most systems will ask you, are you sure?

But, you know, sometimes we're clicking, we're going through and we just hit the yes button without thinking about it. And then you realize before it's too late, everything's gone. In that situation, you want to make sure you have an email backup plan. Export your contacts regularly. Every email system, whether it's active campaign, Infusionsoft, ontraport will have a way to export your contacts to csv for you want to go in there and export them on a regular basis.

Monthly is probably good enough. Just hit the export file, save it as the current month and year and then replace the old one. You don't need to keep 10, 15, 20 of these files around. Taking up more space on your drive. But save the current file. Replace it. And then if anything happens where you accidentally delete your contacts, you can always then re upload them into your system. No problem. OK, so what happens if your laptop breaks or gets wet?

Do you have another computer or a laptop in your house? I hope so. That one's a pretty easy one. You want to make sure you have another computer in the house, whether that's a desktop or maybe your child or your spouse's other computer, their laptop. Make sure that you have something that if something goes wrong with your personal computer. You have a backup plan. Another thing that might be helpful is having if you're a Mac user, maybe having a windows compute in your house, you know, you might not use it all the time.

I have a Mac laptop, but I do have a Windows desktop computer. My daughter uses that one for school and gaming and all that stuff. If something doesn't work with my Mac or if something's being funny, I can always go on there and see if it's just my browser or if it's just something else. I've had to do that a few times, so I definitely recommend having another computer around the house. You can test if you're a computer's running slow.

You can see. Is it just my computer or is it the network? Is it something else I have to look at? Okay, so next, what about if certain apps on your phone don't work? This is a weird one. I only do this because I have another phone. I used to have an old Android phone before I switched back to my Apple iPhone. So I use my Apple iPhone as the regular phone. But I never sold or recycled the old Android.

I still have it. It obviously doesn't have actual service on it. It has emergency service because they all do. But it does have the apps on there. The app still work as long as it's. To a Wi-Fi. I bring this one up because I was trying for ever to change my Instagram from a personal to a creator or business account. And for some reason, on my iPhone, it kept saying there was a problem. Come back later, try again.

And for weeks, it kept doing this. So I thought. Is this just my phone? Maybe this is an iPhone thing. So I went on the Android phone that also still had my Instagram account installed and I opened up that app, went to the account info, switched to creator account, and it took it immediately. So it let me know that there was some kind of a glitch with the iPhone app at that time. Things like that you might not usually think of.

But I do have an Android phone in case this happens. And same thing with if you need an app, some apps don't have both. They don't have an Android or an ISIS app in the App Store. So sometimes it's helpful if you're testing things or you want to see how things run differently, especially for me in what I do is, you know, I look at a lot of different tools and systems. It helps if I can see how the other one works as well.

How do I upload this on Android? How do I take a picture or a screenshot? I have the phone so I can go and test it that way. All right. So what about your password manager? What happens if you're password manager loses all their files or the company shuts down? Maybe you're using last pass or something similar password one and you get locked out or the site goes down for maintenance for an entire day and you're really you've lost a password.

You really need to get into something. What happens then? You've got to wait for that compete. That company to re upload their system and come back online. In that case, you want to have a backup. Again, you can most of those systems let you download a csv version of your passwords. If they allow that, go ahead and download that, you know, every month or so and then you'll have your password list available somewhere. If they don't or if maybe you have a free version and the downloads are only available on the premium version.

Make sure you keep another password list somewhere. Maybe it's just a spreadsheet for you. Maybe you have the old school password book. You probably don't have to write down every single password for every single site, but the important ones you want to make sure you have. And if you didn't know, you can encrypt spreadsheets on Google Excel numbers. There's a way to put an encrypted password or encrypt the actual spreadsheet on those. Just do a quick search.

How do you encrypt my blah blah blah spreadsheet, Google spreadsheet, Excel spreadsheet? I wouldn't recommend just having your password sheet out in open or you can even print it out and have it in a master home binder. If you do have a home binder, I talked about that a few weeks back. That's also a good idea. All right. What about your project management servers? You know, all these project management apps I've been telling you about, a Asana, Trello, Clickup, Zenkit.

What if you're using one of these and they crash? Digital systems aren't perfect. And even though these companies are huge and they have this big, huge system that they're working with and they have security, they can crash as well. They can be down for maintenance. They can go out for a few days. You've got to have a backup plan. Again, in this case, also, you want to keep the csv downloads. All of these systems will have a way for you to export your information.

So go ahead, export it, maybe add it to your once a month check up list. You probably should be doing a monthly check in just as your weekly Check-In.

And I'll do an episode or two later on down the road about what to include in your weekly overview and your monthly overview. You just want to sit down once a week and once a month and do some systems checkups and cleanups. It sounds like it might be a lot, but really each one takes a couple seconds. You log into your account, download the backup, save it. It takes a few seconds and you'll always know where you can find that.


What about if you lose power for a period of time, you're working and the electric company power goes out or there's a storm that comes through and you really still need to be working and get your job done. First of all, you want to make sure you have a personal hotspot available so that if your Wi-Fi goes out, you can still jump on your personal phone hotspot, at least for the time being, or at least until you can finish what you're working on and maybe get to a Starbucks or a neighbor's house if it's an area wide outage.

You want to make sure you have a backup battery or something that can keep you working. If you have a battery backup somewhere like a portable battery charger, that's something you want to check on a monthly basis, there's, nothing worse than having a backup battery. And then you go to use it and it's dead. So those things you also want to make sure that they're in good working condition. OK. So those are the major events that I want you to think about over the coming weeks.

Do you have something set up to handle things like that? Those are the things that are probably going to take the longest would be the hardest to fix. But here are some other things that I want you to think about as you go through what's special to your business. What kinds of things are you using? Think about social media, for instance. I use an Instagram scheduler.

If you use a scheduler for Instagram like plan or planoly or later, Instagram has actually this last week been doing something with the third party apps. And so they haven't been working quite correctly. Some of them weren't pulling in all the photos, so you couldn't see the past posted spread lay out. They were having trouble logging in. What's your backup plan in those cases other than obviously just doing it natively and going directly to the app and posting? If you still wanted to schedule, though, you know, do you have a backup plan?

Do you have another app that you could use on the free version? I do have a plan P, l, a n n and a planoly, p l a n o l y. I do have both of those in case one goes down or one of them's not working correctly, then I can use the other one was what I did. Okay. So if you run ads and your Facebook ad account gets shut down, what are you gonna do.

You still need to run ads, make sure you have a backup ad account somewhere that you can run your ads through. If need be on the same lines. What if Facebook are iji goes off line? How are you going to communicate with your people? Make sure you have email systems in place, other social networks or messaging that you can still contact people or at least your closest and biggest clients. You wanna make sure that you have those set up something else to think about.

Maybe you should have an I.T. consultant that you can call or be familiar with for system support so that you aren't scrambling to find like Geek Squad or something. At the last minute thing goes down. Have someone on call or have someone that you trust, that you know, somebody who works in I.T. that you used to work with at a company a long time ago.

And you guys are still good friends and he's really good with systems. Or maybe you just have a retainer I.T. person. So if something goes wrong, you can call them along those lines. Know who to call if your website crashes. You shouldn't call active campaign. They're not going to be able to help you. You need to call your Web host if something happens with your domain. You need to know who to call in these situations. A lot of times we set things up five or 10 years ago and you forget who your host is or you forget who you're paying money to.

It's easy to find out, though, if you don't know who your Web host is or hubach your domain from. You can do a search. There's a Web site called Who is hosting this dot com? Or you can also go to hosting checker dot com. I'll drop both of those links down in the show notes. You type your Web site and click enter and it pulls up exactly where it's host. So that should give you a quick refresher.

Oh, yeah.

I'm hosting on Blue Host. Go ahead and make that note so that, you know, if your Web site does go down or if your hosting seems a little slow or funky, you know exactly who to call and you know how to get in touch with their support team. Be aware if they only do phone calls or if they only do chat, know those things ahead of time so that you will know how much time you'll be investing in talking to them.

Also, you and I have a list of your most important contacts and clients. That's a good idea to have anyways, just in case something happens. What if something happens to you? God forbid. And no one finds out. No one knows. Either have a hard copy of your most important contacts, family members, friends, clients, and make sure someone else outside your home has a copy of that as well.

Put it in a family binder. Let someone know where they can find that information in case of an emergency. Those are simple things you want to have backed up anyways. And then lastly, Web site backup. We talked about this a little bit earlier, but if you make a change to your Web site and lose a portion of it or you change a line of code and it goes funky and you. Can't seem to get that page back to looking at Count was having a Web site.

Backup is a great way to quickly remedy that without having to get your hosting provider or anybody on the phone. If you've used a service like jetpack or some a lot of hosting providers, do you have an option as an add on to do a Web site backup like blue host? It's usually like ten dollars or less per month. You may be even a couple bucks. And what it is basically is kind of like a time machine for your Web site.

They back it up every night or on an interval that you set. Maybe you do a lot of work on your Web sites and you'd rather back it up every six hours and then you can go back and pick a date and go ahead and restore it. So that's always a good one. That's been a lifesaver for me a few times with playing around with my Web site, changing things around, changing the way it looks, the themes, things like that.

You change a theme, something doesn't work or a plugin breaks. You want to be able to go in into your backup and just restore the previous version.

All right. So those are the major things that come to mind. You should tailor them again, tailor them to your business depending on the tools you use. You might need to add some things or take some things out. And your action step this week is gonna be take some of these ideas that I gave you and start a list for yourself then each week.

I want you to knock off one or two things off the list until it's complete or until you feel secure or safe enough that if one of these huge disasters happens, you'll be taken care of. All right. That's it for today. Have a fantastic week.

And join me next time.

Thanks for listening to Coffee Powered Systems. You can find links to everything mentioned in the episode. Down in the show, notes are on the Web site at Miranda Merten dot com. If you enjoyed this episode and would love to continue mastering your workflows and processes, subscribe on your favorite podcast player. And join me here next time.

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How To Backup Your Digital Systems and Feel Secure


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