As Dropbox makes an aggressive play for enterprise customers, many business owners are migrating their businesses away from the idea of the traditional backup; putting your data on a hard drive or server. This is a great idea for your employees, too; put everything in one place where files are constantly updated, so everybody has the most up to date files exactly where they need them.

However, both consumer and business customers may find that the syncing functionality of products like Dropbox is problematic. Human error can mean that they're as well-organized as a normal person's hard drive (read: messily), or crucial files are deleted, requiring an admin to undelete them or revert them. When people mix up "backup" and "sync," they find files go missing, either gone for good or incredibly difficult to retrieve.

Here's how to re-organize and intelligently protect your business going into 2016, saving you hours of time.

Keep A Physical and Digital Backup of Everything

It's easy to fall into the habit of believing you're impervious to data loss, but those who fail to plan plan to fail. A physical backup can be as simple as having a USB hard drive attached to a computer or using network-attached storage from companies such as Synology, which can back up computers using your office network.

You should also always use a cloud backup facility. The key difference between these and companies such as Dropbox and Box is that they store the data for the event that there's a failure, versus if you need constant access. This means that the data is kept securely and consistently, so that a crucial deletion (or entire computer failure) can be recovered from swiftly. They're affordable, too; Backblaze's business plan is $50 a year, per computer, for unlimited data backup, automatically storing data and encrypting it. IT can also set up each account separately without the user's interference, meaning that potentially dangerous employees can be kept away from the backups themselves. The art of the online backup has become less popular in the advent of syncing, but it's the most secure and safe way to keep your data alive.

When Syncing, Focus On Useful Yet Not-Critical Files

Dropbox gives you a folder or multiple folders that sync to a server, meaning that they will change every time a file is saved. This makes syncing a great way for collaborative work between teams, with files that they are working on constantly kept up-to-date. This is not a great way to back up serious data, though; a Dropbox folder is just like one you'd find on your desktop, meaning anyone can save anything to it, such as if they accidentally set their Chrome browser's download folder to the Dropbox. Train your employees to use sync effectively; create best practices for using it, use admin controls to limit certain folders to certain users and organize your syncing so that the right files are in the right place.

Everybody Loves Google Docs, But Keep An Eye On How You're Sharing

Google's sheets and documents functionality have taken a huge chunk out of Microsoft's Office suite, but they also pose a big security and syncing threat. The ease of sharing of Google Docs can be a huge security threat. That beautiful proposal you wrote may be accessible by anyone online, or anyone with the link, unless you are very specific. Always make sure to invite people to edit or view a document over changing to "anyone with the link" being able to see it. While this may take time and be cumbersome, it protects you from a potential data leak. It's as simple as hitting 'duplicate this document' to take what's yours.

In Conclusion, Your Settings Menu is Your Friend

Every single backup or sync facility has some sort of settings menu, and while it's boring to dig through every option, familiarizing yourself, your IT department and your employees with the little control elements will potentially save you in 2016 from data disaster.