Saturday, February 28, 2009

Online Storage: Friend Or Foe?

I've always believed in backing up my computer files. After all, it just seems to make sense. Obviously if your hard drive "goes south" and it fries, you definitely don't want to lose any documents, pictures and important information. When I've worked on other people's computers, I always ask, "did you back up your files?" Many times the answer comes back, "No."

There are numerous ways to backup your files, that's a given. You can use your DVD-rom drive, flash drives, a second hard drive or an external portable hard drive. So, if your hard drive takes a dive, you have your data ready after your operating system is installed on a new drive.

However, there is a trend now that is a tad alarming to me. Many third party sites are offering online backup storage. It can range from anywhere of 2 gigs on up. You can upload your files to their site for safe keeping. But, I wonder, how safe is it really? That question isn't rhetorical. It's not like having a safe deposit box at the bank where only the signers have authorization to obtain the contents. I may be suspicious, but I'm not sure whether backing up online is good. How do we know that the site you are backing up to isn't snooping into your files? It's already a difficult task to stay ahead of phishing emails and more trying to get at information like your social security number, bank numbers and more.

Wouldn't it just be easier and actually safer to backup your files and put them in a secure spot at home? I know these sites are probably saying that it's completely safe. But who is to know? And...I'm going out on a limb here, but as we see a trend like this continue it could mean a lot more. I believe, and it's only a conviction, that when the anti-christ takes over, what better way to find out about people than on the net? Slowly we are losing security day by day. Everywhere you turn, technology is happening at a rapid pace. On one side, I like technology. The other side though can be alarming as I've already mentioned.

Well, it's something to think about anyway. Since I work on my family and friend's computers I always mention to them to backup important information. Personally, I find the USB external hard drives a good option if they are secured in a safe place and encrypted. Or, have a second hard drive installed on your computer and use an imaging backup system to save your info in case your main hard drive goes down. Recently, one of my drives failed, I'm glad I had a backup. I would have lost a ton of music that I had bought if I hadn't had that backup!

Just for fun here's a clip of the Sweet Comfort Band with "Computer Age" from 1981. We've come a long way from DOS that's for sure.

Computer Age

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