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How to: Protect yourself from a data loss disaster with cloud storage

Thanks to the growing functionality of cloud storage, businesses can create backups of data online.
Thanks to the growing functionality of cloud storage, businesses can create backups of data online.
Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Even with the advancement of technology in the last few decades, much of our digital lives from important documents to memorable photographs can be lost in an instant.

But in today’s day and age, there’s no reason to lose everything to a hard drive failure, theft or other digital disaster, especially with a plethora of remote cloud storage solutions available for individuals or businesses that not only protect people from a worst-case scenario, but also enhance their digital lives.

Solutions like Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive automatically back up selected files and folders to the cloud, as well as provide synchronization across multiple computers. An individual could work on a document or project at the office, save it, and the file would automatically update to other devices. Those files could also be shared with other people to view or edit, and mobile apps for smartphones give the user access to saved files from anywhere. Many of these storage solutions are free with the option to purchase more storage for several dollars a month.

For small businesses, products such as Barracuda Backup or Carbonite automatically upload content from an entire office to cloud storage, preventing total loss in even the worst of circumstances. While these solutions require a greater financial investment than personal options, they handle multiple computers, making for easier and more practical backup management.

While cloud storage solutions provide an extra layer of protection against data loss, storing data online also has its inherent security risks. If a user’s online passwords to cloud storage are compromised, they could lose access to the data or have their online data stolen or deleted. Many cloud storage sites offer two-factor authentication, which requires users to enter a password plus a second means of verification such as a code sent via SMS to a user’s phone.

With these solutions and security measures, it’s easier than ever to avoid data catastrophes. A few minutes of setup can prevent major hassles and headaches down the road.

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