Having backup copies of your vital computer data is good but it doesn’t protect against all hazards. What if the house burns down? What if you have to evacuate your neighborhood and you can’t get back into the house? What if the police decide you are up to mischief, and they confiscate your computers and hard drives. Finally, what if your data storage becomes obsolete. It is possible that you could discover your backup copies are gone or useless.
That’s where a cloud-based backup system is so valuable. They cost money, with a yearly fee almost equal to the price of a 4-terabyte hard drive.
Here, everything is store on “the cloud”, wherever that is.
There are several such systems commercially available starting at $5 per month. Some make backup continuously. Some do it at a pre-determined time of the day. Some do it every 15 minutes.
One good thing is that if you buy a new computer, you don’t need to copy everything to the new machine. You just do a full data restore from your cloud storage.
When you first subscribe to a cloud back-up system, the initial start up can take several days to compete the upload. It took more than two weeks to get all my data on to the iDrive cloud. I was beginning to doubt whether it would ever finish
Some people like to store all their data, including their working files, on the cloud with systems like OneDrive by Microsoft. This will give you access to your data no matter which or who’s computer you have access to, provided you can connect with the internet
(Note: OneDrive keeps a copy of your cloud files on your computer—if you can find it.)
There is a security risk here. If you chose to share a file with a friend by giving them your password, they could have access to everything and if they decided not to be friends, they can change or delete your files.
A true story:
A scammer contacted a man in England and told him that his computer had a virus and offered to fix it for him. The marketer asked for and received remote access to the man’s computer. At least, he thought it was this person’s computer.
This man was a computer expert with some very sophisticated tools. He had given the scammer access to a ‘virtual computer’ which was fake. When the scammer downloaded data from the man’s ‘virtual’ computer, he also received a trojan program. This gave the Englishman control of the scammer’s computer.
He then copied all the scammer data. Then he copied all the information for the other computers in the scammer’s office. Finally, he wiped all data on all computers and on their backups. Then he turned everything over to the government for appropriate action.
I wonder if the scammer had things backed up to an exterior hard drive that was disconnected from the system? In this case, I hope not.