Safe in the Cloud

Safe in the Cloud

We live in a digital age where some of the world’s most valuable assets are stored on a computer. Corporation’s intellectual property literally consists of millions of lines of ones and zeros. From government secrets to the crown jewels of the companies on the NYSE. Photographs, videos, news, games, music – the list goes on.

We have replaced filing cabinets and physical data warehouses with tiny electrical spinning discs. Data that was once protected by armed guards and locked in fireproof safes now exists electronically. Times are a changin’ !

From a personal perspective, take a moment to consider the value that you place on your own digital media.

  • Irreplaceable Photographs that remind us of significant stories
  • Personal Music Collection – a unique collection of our favourite tracks that we enjoy
  • TV Shows / Movies / Home videos
  • An archive of documents – Essays, University work, Thesis, Reports, C.V.s – Days and days of hard work

The list goes on, but given that the digital age is still relatively immature and our personal data collections will continue to grow, backup is something we should all seriously be considering. Ask yourself:

How would I feel if my laptop/PC was stolen tomorrow?

Do you have emergency provisions in place? Do you have a backup hard drive that is regularly updated? Do you store this hard drive remotely… somewhere that would be unaffected by a fire for example? Do you subscribe to online storage?

I consider this to be a classic example of not appreciating the importance of something until it has gone. Image the sickening realisation that the folder of your wedding photos on your PC was the only copy that existed, or the memories from your child’s first Christmas no longer existed.

What Can We Do To Be Safe?

Personally, I have started to consider how I can back things up effectively… a sort of personal business continuity plan!

Photographs

While I consider Facebook to be a decent social networking tool, I would not consider it a photograph archive. Not only does my profile reflect a small percentage of my overall photo collection, but the image quality is poor at best! As an alternative, I have two external hard drives which contain a backup of all the photographs that I have ever taken. I intend to physically relocate one to my in-laws house as a redundancy plan.

Music

Mrs Scot and I subscribe to Spotify, which stores all of our playlists. In the case of music, the music data itself is not important, rather the names and artists of our favourite songs. Spotify is accessible anywhere and I have a second copy of said playlists. Amazon and numerous other companies offer similar services.

Important Documents

I don’t have too many personal documents that I consider to be critical. For documents that are, I have emailed myself a copy to numerous email acc0unts – a sort of cloud storage facility. In addition to this, I have an encrypted backup on an external hard drive and have actually saved a couple to my network drive at work. Aint nothing going to get to them!

Videos and other media

We don’t yet have a great deal of video footage from a personal camera (insert joke here), however this is something that I am definitely considering for the future. I am still undecided how I will approach the backup method here. Perhaps a personal cloud storage account?

My Personal Data is Fine, What about Business Data?

As SavvyScot continues t0 grow, I become more and more aware of the growing value of my archived articles. There are numerous cloud solution services out there which offer cloud solution services for business. Essentially, you are paying for someone else to worry about the problem of backing up your data. I currently have a weekly backup scheduled for the whole of SavvyScot – once a week a script runs to copy the entire contents of the website to a remote storage area – in addition to several local copies of articles.

While I work in I.T. and Engineering, I understand the risks and realise the devastation that corrupt/deleted data can cause. I fear however, that not everyone else does. I am talking to you! Business owners, freelancers, individuals – Are you covered? Digital Nomads who travel around the world with a laptop in your bag, blogging to make a living; please assure me that you have everything backed up – a remote time capsule – a mirror copy – of all your websites and articles.

Finally..

As technology ages and data grows… things do go wrong. Don’t become complacent and think that your laptop hard drive will never fail, or that your setup is bullet proof. I assure you that it is not! Have a think and put some backup plans in place!

How do you backup your media?

Have a great weekend guys! :)

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Comments

  1. We backup all of our digital stuff on a regular basis. The large majority of our important documents we have scanned & encrypted and on it as well plus have them physically in a safe deposit box.
    John S @ Frugal Rules recently posted..Frugal Friday: Posts That Ruled This Week, It’s December Already Edition!My Profile

  2. I need to do a better job of backing up my data, especially since my laptop may be on its last legs. With the low price of external hard drives these days, I should at least do something like that. About the only thing I do right now is I have e-mailed myself some important documents. Losing my entire hard drive would be such a hassle though. For my blog I do have a weekly backup e-mailed to me just in case.

  3. No…but I need to. Thank you for the reminder!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Holly@ClubThrifty recently posted..Tips for Job Seekers – The “What Not to do” EditionMy Profile

  4. Justin@TheFrugalPath says:

    This is something that I need to do. We bought an external hard drive, but I really need to get a digital external hard drive.
    Justin@TheFrugalPath recently posted..Friday’s Fork in the Path: My Second Month RecapMy Profile

  5. All of my data is housed physically at home. If it were stolen or destroyed i’d be pretty much screwed. I’m not so much worried about stolen because I use Truecrypt to encrypt everything.
    Veronica @ Pelican on Money recently posted..Stress Can’t Stop LinkLuvMy Profile

  6. Drew @ Objective Wealth says:

    At the moment I’m backing up my valuable files on both my home PC and in the cloud, rather than just one or the other. Maybe in the future it’ll just be in the cloud, but that’s just a risky on its own than keeping your files only on your home PC without backups. Belt and braces is best for me for now!
    Drew @ Objective Wealth recently posted..A to Z of Objective Wealth: J is for Judgemental HeuristicsMy Profile

  7. Once upon a time I scanned my entire personal life and the hard drive it scanned to crashed a few weeks later. Needless to say I believe in duplicity now. Everything backs up to a shared drive which backs up to the cloud.
    The Insurist recently posted..“That’s a Whole Lot of Money to Pay For Some Fear”My Profile

  8. I actually keep a tonne of backups. I use my home PC mainly for my websites, my laptop as a back up for my PC and an external hard drive that I store at my brothers house with data that is normally about 3 months old. (We have a VPN between our houses and so we regularly send data to each others computers as “off site” storage)
    Glen @ Monster Piggy Bank recently posted..MPB – Pool Room Posts #6My Profile

  9. Ugh, I’m really bad about this. I do have one external hard drive I pull out from time to time to back up music and personal files, but there are so many other documents I need to start thinking about. I just need to do a better job in general with that kind of organization. Just hard to find time for everything!!
    Budget and the Beach recently posted..December Goals/Link Love 11/30/12My Profile

  10. For the last few months every document we’ve worked on, or files for my blog are all saved on Dropbox. Didn’t have to pay a penny, and it’s all available when I get home from work, and even on my phone. Pretty happy with how awesome it’s worked out.
    Jon recently posted..How to put winter tires on your carMy Profile

  11. I recently bought an external hard drive to store all my pics (tons). Then I realized.. what if the external hard drive gets screwed… so I bought another external hard drive. I know it’s a pain.. but what else can I do. It costs too much to go into the cloud. I’d rather stay on earth.
    Boris recently posted..So What The Hell Is The Proper TipMy Profile

    • Hey Boris! I went through exactly the same process of buying a second hard drive. I would check out some of the cloud deals out there.. they are not as expensive as you think

  12. I also backed up all my files in my pc in an external hard drive because my PC tends to crash at times. However, just recently my external hard drive crashed. Suddenly I just couldnt access it. I also tried to put it on the USB drive on my tv to see if I can still view photos from there, but it didnt read the hard drive either. So I don’t think backing up your files on an external hard drive is a wise idea unless otherwise you have more than one backup. In my case, years of photos are lost! =(

    • Hi Linda… that sounds awful I am sorry! I completely agree that one backup drive is insufficient! You should make sure that you have drives with a RAID configuration to replicate it to another drive, or keep a couple of separate drives!

Trackbacks

  1. […] Cloud applications make data storage and access super convenient. CF and I have over a dozen shared documents that we access on a regular basis – having all the information in one place and easily accessible  is a huge convenience. Savvy Scot looks at how easy it is to back up your data in case of a computer crash. […]

  2. […] I am going wake boarding tomorrow for the afternoon which should be awesome! What are your plans for the weekend? […]

  3. […] but unfortunately it is often not that easy. The first time that my blog was compromised, I had to completely wipe everything and restore from a backup; the infection had spread outside of the WP-INCLUDES folder and […]

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