I am sure most of you have heard, learned and read about the best practices of web archiving, but are you aware of the blunders of web archiving that must be avoided at every cost?
People who succeed and aim for the skies adopt an attitude to learn from mistakes committed by other people, apart from their own. The rules remain the same for web archiving as well. So below, I have rounded up a list of mistakes in web archiving that are very common in the industry and can cause serious impact:
Not testing backups
Consider the following scenario: You are a company that has been dutifully taking test backups without failure. And then, someday when you experience a loss, you go to recover the data. But surprisingly, all you find is that the backups are empty or corrupted. Isn’t this a story you have heard about a company before?
This brings us to our first mistake, failing to test backups. The thing is, drives and backups do fail. That is not a problem. The problem is when you don’t know about it beforehand. So, every now and then, test your backups.
Just one backup
The second and most common mistake is relying on just one backup. In case the only source of your recovered data fails, your entire business might be at risk considering how data is more important to businesses than even hard currency. You need another backup to fall back on. So that in case of worst scenarios, you have nothing to worry about.
If you are thinking, it will extract a lot of time or resources. Well, there are automatic systems, where it automatically creates a second or multiple backups. Not only a redundant and more secure recovery plan will give you greater peace of mind, but it will also avoid unwanted surprises.
Having too many backups
In business, there are loads of data both useful and non-useful. Ideally, you should save the first and avoid the second. Understand that space is a premium; you cannot just let it go waste.
So, how do you avoid this? Simple, create a retention policy. This will be your guide on what to save, how to save and when to save. Remember that, different kinds of data might require different backup plans. Irrespective of the size of your business operation, a backup plan is of utmost importance. Stats suggest that 58% of data breach victims are small businesses yet 77% of SMBs don’t have a continuity policy!
Not retaining old equipment for backup material
Every now and then, when we upgrade our technology and equipment, most of them do not serve our old backups. And guess what, now since you haven’t retained your old tech, your backups are of no use.
This might cause you some serious trouble. So, it’s always wise to retain the hardware too. Another thing that you can process to prevent such a crisis is re-recording your archives, every 10-15 years. This will help you in both the terms – in avoiding data corruption and tape degradation.
Only text backup
If you are looking for an archival solution, just text backup can be a mistake larger than you can imagine. Your backups should be full and incremental in nature to leverage from it in the future, otherwise it’s a total waste of time.
What’s the escape? Take complete screenshots of web pages and save it in your desired folder for future use. It is full in nature, captures everything you could possibly need, and easy-to-do.
If you think, all of this has to be done via human backup. Well, here’s a piece of good news – there are various tools available online that can help you automate the task. One of my favourites is Stillio, the popular Wayback Machine Alternative. It has a user-friendly interface with extraordinary features where you just have to set time durations and time intervals, at which you want to capture website screenshots. Then you can proceed with your daily schedule because the screenshots will be processed at the desired time and saved in your desired folder.
Web and data archiving are of extreme importance to any organization. It might be to perform comparison checks or peek a closer insight on the efficiency, or any other reason, it is important to stay on top of archiving. Follow these tips and it will serve the purpose.