It’s no secret that most major service providers, including Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Evernote, etc., maintain great uptime, so it’s unlikely they’ll experience significant outages. They have highly robust hardware and software, hi-end data protection systems, and the best backup and recovery systems, but does this mean your data is safe and accessible at any time? Let’s see.

Below, I’ve gathered a list of the most common reasons for data loss experienced by a wide range of online cloud service users.

  1. Usage Errors
    People make mistakes. Actually, there’s no system in place to protect users from accidentally deleting their own data. According to research conducted by the Kroll Ontrack Company, user errors are the reason for 40% of all data loss.
  2. Third Party App Errors
    The majority of cloud service providers today enable access to their platforms for third party software (plugins, add-ons, web services, etc.). Unexpected errors in such software could lead to data corruption or loss. In the worst case scenario, harmful third party software can even act like a computer virus.
  3. Sync Is Not Backup
    Many online cloud services, such as Evernote, allow you to synchronize your data across online storage and your devices (laptop, desktop, mobile, etc.). But synchronization isn’t a backup system. Here’s why: If somebody deletes or modifies data on a single device, the changes are automatically reflected on all other devices and cloud storage, so there’s no way to return to the previous version (if you don’t have access to the version history, of course).
  4. Synchronization Conflicts
    Also, having a synchronization system opens the gate for potential synchronization conflicts. Say you have a laptop and desktop fully synced with a cloud server. You make some modifications to the data on your laptop and then also make some changes on your desktop. Syncing the data will introduce a data conflict since the cloud service doesn’t know which should be considered the actual version of your data.
  5. Lost Access To The Service
    Users lose their logins and passwords. Many online services have pretty strict/expensive credential recovery policies, so it might not be an easy/inexpensive task to regain access to your data.For example, let’s look at some statistics: Some of the largest and medium-sized U.S. airports report close to 637,000 laptops lost each year.
    As a single place for saved logins and passwords, a lost laptop could be a serious problem in accessing important data.
  6. Hacked Accounts
    Stolen credentials and the ensuing alteration or even deletion of data is the next cause of data loss.
  7. Company Shut Down or Change In Company Policy
    There’s also a possibility the company you trust will change their data access policy (for example, after being closed or being bought by another company). This will make it much more difficult to access your data.

As you can see, despite the great reliability of modern cloud services, there is a list of reasons why we could lose our data. So it’s reasonable to have a “safety net” and to perform backups.

I would compare a modern cloud service to a powerful sports bike – it’s fast and reliable, but the driver has to be prepared: wear the right helmet, boots, protection, i.e., to have the right “backup” :-)

What other reasons cause you to backup your online data? Let’s discuss in comments!

To protect your valuable data, try Backupery – tiny apps to perform cloud services data backup.


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