The digital footprint is unavoidable, and we can no longer imagine ourselves in a world dominated by paper, as it was a few years ago. Our professional and personal digital life is increasingly valuable, not least because there are countless digital contents that are not duplicated in any other medium. In this context, the safety of these contents should be a priority concern for everyone, but not. Why? Because most users are strangely relaxed about this topic.
People are aware that it is quite easy to lose all their photos, videos, documents, audio records or messages, and they realize that most of the time this loss is irreparable, but content security only tends to become an important issue when there is a more serious problem.
The truth is that there are no excuses for not properly protecting all of your information. There are numerous cloud storage services available, many of them free, and hundreds of storage options available. It only takes will, organization, and a good personal backup policy. And now that a lot of people are quarantined at home, a good opportunity to start!
Almost all services have options for individuals and companies. Here are some options focused on personal use.
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What is the best option to guarantee the backup of your digital life: cloud or local storage? In fact, there is no right answer to this question. Both options have associated advantages and disadvantages. That is, the choice must take into account your goals and lifestyle.
Backup to the cloud is not the same as synchronizing to the cloud. The backup services are centered on a solution that ensures the automatic copy of files, applications, virtual machines or servers (according to the established daily plan, incremental, etc.); its encryption and secure storage; and access to a disaster recovery system.
Synchronization to the cloud is the most popular model. Services like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud or OneDrive allow file synchronization, and end up working as a privileged option for backing up photos, videos and documents. However, in the event of an accident, if you have to reset the information, you will only have access to the data synchronized at the moment.
Files deleted, or previous to the last synchronization, will not be restored. In this case, it is important to ensure that the services are used as a storage location and not just as a synchronization destination. They are quite simple to use and important for the protection of information.
Both options offer some pros and cons:
- One of the great advantages that the user can access the contents in real time through any equipment with internet access.
- This solution allows data to be kept in a safe place against cyber attacks and natural disasters. However, it is vulnerable to anyone who knows the access credentials. It is important that these services have strong passwords.
- Depending on the volume of data, creating a full backup to the cloud can be a time-consuming process.
- It is important to ensure that the data is accessible and up to date at the time of the backup. Otherwise, you can back up data that is outdated or corrupted.
Investment in this type of service is easy to ascertain. The company or user pays a monthly or annual fee, and does not have to make any other investment. There are free services, but they have restrictions in terms of storage capacity and features.
Local backups are the least modern and the best known of all. You can choose a disc (internal, external, network, etc.), a pen, a CD or DVD. The important thing is that you follow some important rules:
- Never back up to the disk where the operating system is installed. If you are keen to keep your backup on the computer you use daily, choose a different partition.
- Do not place the backup on the PC you use daily. It is more vulnerable to errors, attacks and other problems that can compromise the disk.
- Make more than one backup. Have you backed up your children's photos since birth? Perfect! What if that disk breaks down? If the contents you want to protect are irreplaceable, make a backup of the backup.
- Save your backup elsewhere. As a rule, we keep discs and pens with backups at home. What if there is a fire, a flood or an assault? If you place the backup disk in another location, it guarantees extra protection from the contents that are most important to you.
- An occasional backup better than nothing, but we are currently producing new digital content at a dizzying pace. One weekend is enough to have hundreds of new photos, videos, messages – memories that we want to keep forever. Make sure to make regular backups so you don't lose any information.
The investment in a local backup system varies greatly according to the type of service desired. In the simplest case, they will only have the cost of storage support and energy consumption, for example. If you choose an advanced service, you must add the costs of maintenance, upgrade, integrity tests, monitoring and restoration, in case of an incident.
Regardless of the option you choose, it is important to make the security of your digital life a priority. Bad luck doesn't just happen to others, and the loss of data can not only compromise your professional life, but also eliminate years of irreplaceable memories.