Cloud services and social media are inseparable from the lives of many of us. We share what is important and even not so important. We upload pictures and videos about our life events every day.
Many people who have used social media long enough have learned to trust that their posts are there, and they can always find them. People using public blog services have gotten used to having their content there all the time. But even the most reputable brands like Google can fail you – as it did for artist Dennis Cooper, whose blog and 14 years of work disappeared one day. Not that the problem is unique to Google’s Blogger service: hardware can fail, a virus may strike, or, in most of the cases, humans make mistakes. Sadly, many simply trust cloud services so much, that they keep their data only in one place, solely relying on the service of their choice.
You may argue that disasters like the one with Dennis are seldom, and the chances are slim that it will happen to you. Nevertheless, people lose their data all the time. You may just occasionally read about big events like old photos disappearing from Facebook, or a bug in Dropbox leading to loss of 8,000 files because they are rare, but minor events happen all the time. And losing just one picture could be a major dramatic event for a particular person.
Even if you use cloud services built specifically to store data, like OneDrive or Dropbox, there are still many ways to lose your information. You may accidentally delete a file or a folder, and the service will synchronize the change across all of your devices. Your files are likely gone, though there is still a chance to restore them. After a while, way beyond the time provided by a service to restore your files, you realize that your files are gone forever.
Or you may be collaborating with others using a shared folder, and someone will delete files, or just stop sharing the folder with you.
Or a virus may corrupt files or ransomware may encrypt them. Someone can hack into your account and purge your precious files. There are just too many ways to lose data, to justify not having a backup.
It is always a good idea to have multiple copies of your data in various location – on an external drive and another computer, NAS device or Cloud storage. Even if you post to social media or host your data in cloud services – keep a copy under your control at all times.
Stay safe and don’t forget to back up!