Security has been the top priority for most organisations in the past few months. And if you have been following the articles, you may remember I wrote a short while back about backing up data in at least four different places.
- Backing up your data on the server
- Backing up your data on an external drive
- Backing up your data on your PC
- Backing up your data data in the cloud
And when we speak of backing up to the cloud we mean online storage, (not the fluffy white things in the stratasphere)! So this week I am going to specifically review a couple of cloud storage options that you can look into for backing up your data onto.
With all the concern with viruses and hacks, the biggest question is how secure is your data? To find the most secure online storage service, you need to start with the encryption. The best cloud file storage services encrypt your data in layers. What is encryption? Well basically its taking your data and putting it into some kind of secret code. And then to crack the code (unencrypt it) you need to use an encryption key. Its all very high tech, but bare with me. If you are looking for good cloud storage services, make sure you research on their secutity features and their encryption levels. Stay away from anything with no or minimal encryption levels. Your data won’t be safe if there is no encryption taking place on your data!
Dropbox is the most used back-up service available and is fairly easy to use. It is completely free with no hidden costs and very popular. Users are given 2 GB of storage capacity. You might not think this is a lot, but it is definitely plenty to start off with. Adding storage is also possible - and without additional cost which is what makes Dropbox so popular.
You can also share your Dropbox folders with friends or colleagues and this makes it really accessible and popular as a backup system. What is also very helpful is the fact that if you were to delete a file accidentally, Dropbox will easily retrieve copies of all deleted files for 30 days and so you won’t really lose anything.
You need to log on to download Dropbox and you can do so on this link: https://www.dropbox.com/
Google drive is super easy to use and effective. It is built to work with Google and has a lot of funky features. As with Dropbox you can access your files from anywhere in the world. Collaboration is also possible and sharing with people is super easy.
Google Drive gives you instant access to Google Docs, which is extremely helpful. This means you have a suite of editing tools that allow you to edit and make changes to your files.
Google drive is also very easy to search, and allows you to create folders which you can share and to organise your data. Google drive allows you to create and reply to comments and to get feedback and make files more collaborative. This can be done by commenting directly on the files.
You can get started with 5GB of disk space, it’s free but if you want more, you will need to pay for it.
To get Google Drive, you just need a Google account. Log onto https://www.google.co.za/
There are many other options for online cloud storage such as Amazon Cloud, Apple iCloud Drive, Backblaze and Flipdrive. You should investigate what works for you best but the two most popular by far is Dropbox and Google Drive.
Remember, that even though your IT department may be able to retrieve backed up data, imagine what would happen if it took days and days to retrieve a document that you have spent hours or even days working on? So you might as well be proactive and safe and back up today!
Written for OPSA by Marié Mieny
Marié Mieny is an administrator within the School of IT at Monash South Africa (MSA). She has been at MSA for 13 years of which 7 years have been in the School of IT
Marié has a reputation for revolutionising the mundane tasks she is given by using technology to make her very efficient and effective in her job. As a result her school is one of the top schools at MSA with a reputation of being highly organised and effective.
Marié has two honours degrees – one in Criminology and one in Psychology. She plans on doing her Masters in the near future