The importance of backing up on the cloud

Posted on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 by

‘The cloud’ is the internet – a network of servers. 

Cloud-Jules

The servers that are part of the cloud have specialised functions. Some are storage servers, like the Amazon Cloudfront. Others use their computing power to run applications, like Windows Azure. They run together offering more reliability; if a server fails, the other servers in the group pick up the load until the error is redressed.

There are several things you can do in the cloud:

  • Check your email – from any computer anywhere that offers an internet connection.
  • Collaborate online – create and share your documents with friends and family using software like Google Docs and more recently Office 365. Everyone in your group can add to your document, edit it and save the changes.
  • Store your important documents – DropBoxAmazon Cloud Drive and Box.net use cloud servers to save your files. You can create backups of your important files and store them securely online.

Why should I backup my data on the cloud?

You should perform regular backups of your important files to prevent data loss. If your computer’s hard drive fails, a victim of an aggressive virus that deletes your files or you mistakenly delete some of your files, you can find yourself rapidly descending into panic mode.

You can prevent this situation (and keep your stress levels under control) by saving your data remotely. The cloud invisibly backs up your files and folders, alleviating the potentially endless (and costly) search for extra storage space. You can use it as an alternative to deleting old files or buying a new external drive. The cloud offers you the option to back up, sync and access your data across multiple devices. The only thing you require is an internet connection.

How safe is it?

When you store your information online, you must consider the risk that your data may be accessible to others. Consider this when opening an account with a vendor and ask about their data security policy as part of the deal.

What you should be considering:

  • How much data will you be storing? The different service providers have different costs per gigabyte.
  • Check if your data is encrypted when it is uploaded/downloaded from the online drive (the URL should start with https:// (‘s’ stands for secure SSL connection)).
  • Understand access rights to the cloud folder. Several cloud storage providers allow you to share access to your online folders with other people. Be sure you know in detail how this works.  Can they read only or can they change the file?  Will you know who changed a file last?  If you share the file with a group, do you know who is in the group?  Are you notified if the group changes?
  • Understand the service provider’s security standards and what your options are if the service provider is hacked or they lose your data.

At Outlook Digital, we always make sure that your data is safe. All of our web development projects are backed up onto local drive, a remote location and also to the cloud. For more information about our services please get in touch.

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