Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Is Your Data Safe? How I Almost Lost My Entire Database



This Monday morning started out well. I was sorting through emails and structuring my week. One of my assistant's was working on improving our short sale system and was going to add a field to our ACT database. ACT is excellent contact managment software, where one can completely customize all fields, keep detailed notes, and manage thousands of entries. ACT can be networked with multiple users accessing the information from different computers. In my custom set-up, I have fields such as short sale "approval deadline", "loan numbers", "negotiator name", "payoff" and dozens of critical fields. I have hundreds of notes on phone calls and actions from time of short sale submission through approval. I also have records of every buyer and seller I've ever worked with since I got the system. There are almost 3000 records in my database.
This morning I asked my assistant to add a field referencing title work completion for each short sale. We do this as a matter of course when getting a new short sale listing, but I wanted a more organized location to check it off. She needed authority as "administrator" to modify the layout so I changed her authority level. Well, something went seriously wrong.
My assistant buzzed me and said she could not change the records and ACT closed down. I tried to log in and the software crashed. We tried from different computers, same result. I shut down and restarted twice. Same result. We could not get into the database. Basically, without ACT we are out of business. No records, no telephone numbers, no contacts, no history and no information. All was lost. This was not a good Monday morning.
Thankfully, I had backed up the ACT database on Friday. I use an external hard drive and Acronis True Image software for disaster recovery. I restored the database with Friday's data and I am back in business. If you are not backing up your data you are making a serious mistake. Acronis can also back up exact disk images should your computer or data be destroyed. Backing up to an external hard drive makes sense if you are in an area with hurricane evacuations or otherwise need to physically remove the information from your office.I used to back up when I remembered to do it.
Now I have a new ACT reminder that pops up. You know what is says? "Back up data daily!".


It's Wendy!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Call toll-free 1-877-487-9639 or local 850-650-7883 ext 204
Email Wendy: itswendy@rulnickrealty.com

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