5 Reasons to Keep Paper Copy Backups of Your Most Important Information

Last Updated: 

June 21, 2024

Storing information digitally has made operating a business a lot easier. You no longer have to dig through drawers of files or figure out how to hunt down a file that was misplaced. 

But that doesn’t mean that paper copies are completely obsolete. Make sure that your documents are digitally stored, and you should also consider having paper backups for these important reasons:

  • Nothing can get lost during a cloud migration
  • They are always accessible
  • They are immune to cyber attacks
  • Paper degrades slower than digital data
  • They can be completely destroyed

Key Takeaways on Keeping Paper Copies of Important Information:

  1. Cloud Migration Assurance: Paper copies act as fail-safes during cloud migrations, preventing data loss due to compatibility issues, legacy system problems, format variations, or strategic oversights. If digital files go missing, paper copies provide a tangible backup for easy recovery.
  2. Constant Accessibility: In situations of data centre outages, power failures, or cyber threats, paper backups ensure uninterrupted access to crucial information. Even during downtime, having physical copies allows operations to continue, offering a safety net in unpredictable scenarios.
  3. Cybersecurity Immunity: Unlike electronic data vulnerable to cyber attacks, hard copies remain impervious to hacking threats. Storing sensitive information on paper adds an extra layer of security, making it harder for hackers to compromise or blackmail businesses.
  4. Slower Degradation Rate: While digital data degrades over time and faces risks of hardware failures, paper copies endure longer. Paper files provide a reliable alternative, avoiding the need for constant migration and updates, ensuring the longevity of essential information.
  5. Complete Destruction Capability: Unlike digital information that may persist even after deletion, paper copies can be completely destroyed through shredding or incineration. This enables businesses to maintain better control over the confidentiality and security of sensitive data.
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Nothing Can Get Lost During a Cloud Migration

Migrating to the cloud can make life a lot easier, but the process of migrating can be tricky. Among the common hurdles in executing cloud migrations is the loss of data.

There are multiple reasons why data can go missing during a migration. It could be:

  • A compatibility issue
  • A problem with a legacy system
  • Files are saved in different formats
  • A lack of strategy

Having paper copies ensures nothing falls through the cracks. If something goes missing, it can always be uploaded directly to the cloud after the migration has been completed. You must access the paper file and recreate a new digital version to replace the missing one. High-volume document scanning services can streamline this process by quickly converting large amounts of paper documents into digital format, ensuring efficient and accurate backups.

They Are Always Accessible

Data centres go above and beyond to avoid outages. They have redundant power and connectivity setups to help avoid outages, but they still happen.

Obvious reasons, like power outages due to a storm or natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes, cause power outages, but the truth is, most power outages can be prevented. Error-related outages caused by humans are actually quite common. From staff not following procedures to installation issues and poor data centre design, outages are always a possibility.

When those outages happen, you’ll be glad you have paper copies of your most important information. It enables you to continue operating, even if you’re operating at a slower, lower capacity, while you wait for the data centre to get back up and running.

They Are Immune to Cyber Attacks

Cyber risks continue to rise as hackers get more and more creative with ways to compromise your data. But they can only compromise data that is stored electronically. They do not have access to hard copies of your information.

If you have information that you really don’t want getting into the wrong hands, consider storing it the old-fashioned way instead. Just make sure you have physical measures in place to keep it secure too, as paper copies can still be compromised by current and past employees, as well as burglars.

Having hard copies makes it harder to be blackmailed by hackers as well. You may not have to hand over a large sum of money to regain your files if you have paper copies of all the information you need.

Paper Degrades Slower Than Digital Data

Most people don’t know that digital data degrades over time. Even more people don’t realise that digital files actually degrade faster than hard copies.

Data degradation is a real threat that requires constant vigilance. Data centres have redundancy and update plans in place to ensure data remains fresh, but that means you’re at the mercy of the data centre to keep your files up-to-date.

It means you have to keep your own files up-to-date too. Flash drives, hard drives, and even solid-state drives fail over time. Data has to be migrated and updated in order to ensure it doesn’t fail.

Paper copies actually last longer than digital copies. By keeping old-fashioned paper files, you will always have the information you need, even if a file becomes corrupted.

They Can Be Completely Destroyed

Deleted information isn’t ever really deleted. There are some programs you can use to ensure your data is actually deleted, but savvy hackers can sometimes find their way around those as well.

Paper copies, on the other hand, can be completely destroyed. Paper can be shredded or even incinerated. You can more easily keep track of paper copies, in contrast to digital copies that can float around out there on the internet even if the original copy is destroyed. 

Storing your information in the cloud is convenient, and it can make running a business a lot easier, but that doesn’t mean paper files are completely obsolete. Have paper files on hand as an additional way of backing up your most important information.

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