With cloud computing, who needs to back-up their data?
Just so we’re all on the same page for this very important blog post, cloud computing is any account (email, bank, contacts, calendars, social media, flickr, YouTube, etc.) you have with some company who then holds and protects your data in the cloud which in reality is some server sitting somewhere “out there”.
This is a great thing that allows you to get at information, pictures, videos and a huge chunk of your online life from any computer or device connected to the Internet from anywhere… how cool is THAT? They could even restore this data if you lost your computer or device which is doubly cool. Really, this concept—in the abstract AND in action—is pretty awesome BUT (and this is a HUGE BUT) what if that information and data ever got lost, destroyed or infected with a nasty computer virus?
“Don’t fret, it’s a huge company with a reputation to protect. They would never do anything to threaten that.” you say. I’ve told myself that many times too: “I don’t need to back-up that data because they got it.”
And then you read what happened at the end of last week with Microsoft, T-Mobile and their popular “Sidekick” phone/email/texting device… the cloud died and so did everyone’s information in it.
When I first read that over the weekend I said, “Nah, never would Mircrosoft and T-Mobile screw up THAT much… they’ll get the data back.” But now that doesn’t seem like a possibility… the data is gone and all of those Sidekick users are out of luck. Ouch.
We spend a great deal of time in our training on having back-up systems and printed out information for just these kinds of situations… whether it’s a power outage, a cloud server going bust, a hard drive blow-up, a lost cell phone or—God forbid—another 9/11/01. As an assistant, you need to be prepared for such occurrences and this most recent fiasco from heavy hitters like Microsoft and T-Mobile is just another reason why.
Moral of the story? Back up your computer electronically (hard drives have gotten so cheap that there’s no reason not to) AND have printed out copies of your contact lists and anything else that you just couldn’t live without cause who knows, if a cloud goes bust, you might have to.
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