We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Best Tips for Electronic Records Retention?

By Keith Koons
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Electronic records retention is nothing more than setting up a system to backup important data within a workplace, and the good news is that much of it can be accomplished automatically under the proper setup. Many businesses make the mistake of backing up their valuable documents to multiple servers, however, which could create hundreds or even thousands of duplicate files that take up space and ultimately slow down the server. The same can be said for traditional backups like paperwork and compact disks—it makes absolutely no sense to keep repetitive backups once a sound electronic records retention system is implemented. A professional with Internet technology experience is normally sought to set up such a system, and since online backup is normally part of the electronic records retention package, the information should be protected forever.

Before implementing an electronic records retention program, it is important for users to consider exactly what needs to be stored in multiple locations. For example, business files that are accessed by many employees throughout the day should be saved on each individual computer system, but files dealing with former clients or tax information should be safely tucked away on a mainframe computer since this type of file is rarely needed. Another important function of an electronic records retention program is the ability to purge unnecessary files after a certain period of time to keep the overall network as clutter-free as possible. Not only do these tasks help streamline the speed at which information can be distributed throughout the workplace, but it also sets standards for each employee to adhere to when dealing with company data.

Another critical aspect of electronic records retention is to implement an automatic backup that occurs at regular intervals, and this task can be set to run weekly, daily, or even by the minute when necessary. Besides placing files on a centralized server, many corporations also implement backups to external drives, remote drives, or a compact disk (CD) to ensure that the data always exists in two separate, independent locations. While for many, this process would seem unnecessary, an overload within an electrical circuit could effectively erase every hard drive within a company. Online backup has grown especially popular since the data is stored within a different geographical region—so even if a catastrophic event like a hurricane or tornado destroyed every single piece of hardware, the company’s information would still remain secure.

Another smart aspect of electronic records retention is to physically verify that the backups did, in fact, take place, because something as simple as a damaged Ethernet cord could prevent information from being properly saved. Many businesses mistakenly assume that automatic backups are immune from mishap, but that simply is not the case. Individuals should always verify the data is properly backed up at least monthly or whenever a new file or program is implemented.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.