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April 24, 2012

Save Early and Save Often

Exploring a world of information that should get the same [backup] love as the rest of your data-

Tyler Reinhard | Web & DigitalHow much data do you store in the cloud?  If you’re like most people, a lot more than you did 5 years ago, and probably a lot more than you realize.  Nearly every common online service stores data.  Social media accounts, web-based email and document storage, calendars, blogs, etc.  But is that data safe?  We all back up our data stored locally on our computers and servers (we do all back up that data regularly- right?), but what about all the stuff in the cloud?


Wait, wait.  It’s in the cloud.  Of course it’s safe.  It’s all backed up on redundant servers housed in big data centers, right?  Typically yes, that’s the case.  But according to online backup service Backupify, roughly one third of all online data loss is due to user error, stemming from a misplaced password or simply due to accidental deletion.  Beyond that, hackers, viruses, or legal issues can bring your online data down.  Occasionally, error on the side of online data storage providers can cause data loss.

For these reasons you may want to consider options for securing a backup of your cloud data.  For your Google data (Gmail, Docs, Calendar, etc.), BackupGoo and Spanning are a couple of options, both of which will work with Google Apps.  The aforementioned Backupify will do all that plus backup your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Zoho, Flickr, Picasa, and Blogger data.

Prices and mileage vary, so be sure to pick the plan that suits you best.  Are you an occasional Facebook user with just a few photos uploaded?  There are ‘free’ and ‘small’ plans for you.  Have a small business that uses Google Apps and your whole life is reflected online?  There are more substantial plans as well.

Use an online service that isn’t covered here?  Do a quick search to see if there are tools out there that allow you to make a local copy of your data – even if it’s a manual process, it’s better than nothing, and it gives you somewhere to start rebuilding if the unthinkable happens and your data disappears.  Show your data some love!

If you’ve got a go-to backup service, hit the comments and let us know.