Is your Data Safe: Enter Dropbox!
Today was almost a real bad day for my wife. She called me because her computer was acting up. Just a couple days ago her computer randomly recommended that she do a System Restore. She took that advice and everything seemed to be okay. But today when she went to work with Quicken, everything seemed to go haywire.
I received a frantic call at about 11 AM. It was one of those short phone calls where she said “you have to come home now!”. I was wondering if one of the kids was bleeding or something so of course I raced home. Luckily we live just down the street and I didn’t run anybody over on the way home. But when I got there I saw my wife pulling her hair out not knowing what she was going to do. Today was payday, and she had to make sure all of our employees got paid; including us. Of course the first thing I did was ask her when the last time she backed up her Quicken program was. But what good is a backup file if you can’t access it because the computer isn’t working. Luckily we are able to do a couple system restores to a far earlier time and for now, everything seems okay.
But that issue brought up a very important point: backed up files are not as archived as they ought to be. Enter Dropbox. From this point forward we will have backup copies “in the cloud”.
We have been using Dropbox to store less vital files in the cloud so that we could have access to our files anytime we wanted. But what about our important backed up files? After all, Dropbox does use https! If we don’t put our important backed up files in the cloud, when our computer crashes, we might not have access to them. So we decided to sync our backed up files in our Dropbox. Not only would this give us the ability to access our files from any computer with an Internet connection, but we also know, should our computer ever fail, we would always be able to retrieve those important files. We happen to have our Dropbox account set up on multiple computers. Not only do we have a copy of our important files in the cloud, but also on each computer we own. Our data is always synchronized. Should our hard drive ever crash we no longer need to worry about what was on our hard drives at the time it crashed. We can simply replace the hard drive or computer, reinstall the necessary software, and move on.
Dropbox is a free online service that lets you make an account to store your important files. They currently give you up to 8 GB of memory space for free which, for a small fee, can easily be upgraded to an even larger capacity if necessary
Dropbox makes it especially easy to work on files from multiple locations. As an example one application that I use for Internet marketing both from home and at work is called Market Samurai. It is my massive toolbox suite that helps me with every aspect of website research, development, optimization, and promotion. I especially like to use it to check my rank for various websites for certain key terms. By storing the files in my Dropbox folder, my files are automatically synchronized over the Internet into the cloud and with my other computer. When I open a file from a different location, it simply picks up from where I left off.
One thought when it comes to security: As with anything, if you are concerned about privacy, you may want to either password protect your files or find some other means of storage. With Dropbox, you have public folders, private folders, and shared folders. Although nothing in your private folder is accessible without your password, there is nothing wrong with erring on the side of caution and also password protecting the actual files.
Join the conversation. Do you have a better computer backup solution?
Dr. Michael Haley
Chiropractor in Pompano Beach, Florida