(Last Updated On: 15th March 2011)

We all need to protect the information we use to run our businesses.  Have you considered what would happen if your computers got infected with a virus, or the office burned down? Hopefully you have.

Craker Business Solutions is an Accountancy business that like all others is reliant on data stored on computers.  So when my security software came up for renewal I wanted to ensure I was using the latest and best software.  I also thought it was time to investigate further the environmental impact of security software/hardware. 

I’d previously used Norton which is run by Symantec, they talk about their environmental credentials here, but after some poor customer service, it was time to look elsewhere. 

My wish list:

  1. An environmentally sustainable product,
  2. Easy to use,
  3. Top grade security – antivirus, data back-up,
  4. Real local people to talk through installation and any problems that come up, and;
  5. Competitive price.

Not too much to ask?? So I got onto Ecosia and started searching.

Firstly, back up.  On one side you have external hard-drives and on the other, on-line backup.  External hard-drives are physical products that carry with them all the associated costs – manufacture, transport, storage (warehouse and shop), use and destruction.  For on-line backup there is the physical impact of building the data centre but spread over a larger number of users on the servers. But you also have the energy impact of servers being active 24/7.  I couldn’t find any conclusive evidence which was best, but this blog is an interesting read.

Secondly, antivirus software.  Unfortunately one of the most easy to find products Green AV was a scam.  This illustrates the point about researching your suppliers!

I sent a tweet out to see if anyone had any ideas and asked my computer geek friends.  But again, didn’t come up with anything.  

My conclusion:

If you’ve got an external hard-drive already, use it, and find a way to recycle it at the end of its life.  Or if you need to buy one what about this bamboo version….. 

If you’re using on-line back-up and anti-virus software then start asking providers about their environmental credentials and hopefully suitable products will come onto the market.

As always, if you have any recommendations please share them.

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