Here’s an important question for anyone using cloud applications to host important files and data: Are you routinely downloading and backing up a copy of your files to your own servers? If not, you’re taking a BIG risk of losing all that data. By now you should know to backup the data on your PCs and server offsite to the cloud; but what you might not have considered is the practice of downloading your data from critical cloud applications as a security measure against that cloud provider closing their doors, losing your data or simply cutting you off.

True Story: A business colleague hired a new web designer to update her web site. After 6 months of delays and poor service, she notified the designer that she would no longer need their services. This firm’s developer then decided to delete all the web sites she had to get revenge. Apparently, the web hosting company had a “glitch” (as they called it) in their password and security system that allowed this company to gain access to her account after she deactivated their login. Fortunately, her OLD web designer had a copy of her web site, even though it was out of date. This little fiasco caused her web site to be down for a week and cost her thousands in getting the sites back up.

Point is, the more data you host in cloud applications, the more cautious you need to be in keeping a current record of those files in-house; and with more and more software companies ONLY offering a hosted or cloud version of their software, you often won’t have a choice but to move your systems and data to the cloud. As a second precaution, you should review your cloud provider’s policy on closing your account. In some cases, they have all the power and will shut off your access and even delete your data without warning, never to be recovered. That’s why it’s absolutely critical that you perform “reverse backups” of your data to your server frequently.