Online backup and the risks

Online backup is becoming increasingly popular among business and home users, but here are some questions you need to be asking the providers before signing on the dotted line. This article is not meant to scare but meant to make you think before handing over your hard earned cash.

1) Where is my data stored?

This question is very important because if the data is stored in the UK then it’s covered by UK data protection laws, however if the data is stored abroad then your data would be under that country’s laws. Here are some examples; if your data was stored in the US then there is a law over there called “the patriot act” which would give the government full access to your data at any time. Your data could be stored in a country that has no data protection laws and could be read and copied by anyone.

Is the data encrypted so no one can read my information stored there?  Who has access to my data?

2) If I close my account will the data be securely deleted?

When you close your account with the provider you need to know that your information will be deleted securely and will not fall into someone else’s hands.

3) Do your homework on the company providing the data storage solution.

Are they a registered company, you can check their details at companies house and use the web check facility to help to ensure you are dealing with a legitimate company. Do they have a telephone number in the UK? Check their terms and conditions.

4) Space

Some companies offering backup solutions require that you have enough space on your computer to make a second copy of your data for backup purposes.

After all as with any purchase make sure you do your homework before handing over any payments. There are some very good companies offering online backups that will be able to answer all your questions satisfactorily.