All files of a sensitive nature should be backed up to keep them safe from things like theft, accidental deletion, or physical damage to the computer server housing them. Things like client information, payment information, and your kid’s term paper, should be put somewhere out of harm’s way, and there are different ways of accomplishing this task. It used to be that files were stored safely on things like thumb-drives, CDs, or, if you can you believe it, floppy disks. But nowadays, most people don’t want to mess around with cumbersome storage devices that don’t easily allow for data access or editing, nor do they want to deal with re-installing the programs they would need to view the files if something were to happen to their physical computer. The world is moving on to out of sight, off-site data storage in the digital age.
Everyone has heard of “the cloud,” whether from conspiracy theorists who believe “SkyNet” will be an actual thing someday (see Terminator starring Arnold Schwarzenegger for more details), or from your iPhone telling you there isn’t enough storage to back-up the last 137 selfies you took. But in reality, “the cloud” is just a broad term for anything store off-site on someone else’s servers.
Cloud-based data storage and sharing sites like Dropbox and Google Drive have become really popular among Millennials and Generation Z, especially for homework and group presentations, because they eliminate the fear of forgetting or losing a thumb-drive and allow for simultaneous group work. Using the cloud in this way also can eliminate the need to do work in one location or even on one computer. Like right now, I’m writing this on Google Drive in my office on my desktop, but I can work on it just as easily from my laptop anywhere that has Wi-Fi (hello, Starbucks) because it’s actually being stored on one of Google’s many servers, not on one of my physical computers—at least, not until I download it.
The free introduction to these cloud services relies on the servers housed by each company to securely store the data of the users. But, both of these big file sharing/saving sites have restrictions on the amount of data that can be stored without paying a fee. They are also easier to gain access to through online sharing, which is both great and terrifying as it’s then easier for file sharers to delete information that might have actually been important, as some of us have learned this the hard way…. As far as capacity, free online clouds may be enough storage space for an individual user who only wants to save certain files that don’t contain sensitive client information, but it generally isn’t enough for a growing business.
So, what is the best way to store information?
Sure, cloud-based file storage like Google Drive and Dropbox are way better than emailing a file to yourself over and over, but what about large scale? Your computer isn’t just Word documents and Excel sheets, it’s also settings and the arrangement of files. You can save things to a server, to a hard-drive, sometimes a cloud is included with the purchase of Office 365 (OneDrive), or gigabit space can be bought for a Mac computer or phone from Apple. But what about your settings and preferences and programs that have to be customized and installed?
A system like StorageCraft is a cloud-based service that takes an “image” of your entire computer—files, settings, software, data—and saves it securely to be recovered or reviewed whenever you need it. This eliminates the frustration that’s likely to come when searching for a file you knew you had last October but now you can’t seem to find it anywhere. It’s also great for keeping records and is highly secure. It’s more than drag and drop system like Dropbox and Google Drive, and it allows more flexibility than Apple’s iCloud, especially for those of us who prefer PC, despite the flak we get from the Apple elitists.
By saving everything on your computer during one point in time the applications are multi-faceted. Of course, there’s the security of “if everything is suddenly destroyed, my company’s information will still survive,” but there’s also the security of accessible past back-ups in case you name two files the same thing and save the wrong one. Or suppose you get a new computer but you don’t want to re-download every last program. What if you forgot to record new customer growth from several months back? Or if you just lose a file you know you had in the third quarter of last year. People aren’t perfect, and neither are computers, so it’s best to be as prepared as possible when it comes to backing up your company’s data.
Maybe now you’re considering a verified cloud storage service for your business to back up sensitive data, preferred software, and custom settings, Technology Solutions Group proudly uses StorageCraft software to keep our customer’s files safe. If you’re interested in StorageCraft cloud backups or have questions about VIP’s services, call us toll free at 866-203-6059 to schedule an appointment with one of our technicians or speak to an expert.