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A $125 Billion lesson in why cloud backups are vital

Google Drive accidently deleted a $125 Billion dollar pension fund.  It’s an extreme example of why it’s important to have your own backups of cloud stored files.  Don’t rely entirely on one company, including Microsoft’s OneDrive.

Cloud storage is great but nothing is 100% perfect so it’s essential to have your own backups of all files. Don’t rely on a single cloud storage provider, no matter who they are.

An Australian pension (superannuation) fund kept all its data including member details saved on Google cloud storage. Everything was fine until all the data for the $125 Billion fund was deleted

For safety, the fund had arranged for Google to duplicate their data across two different server farms in different countries.  The idea being that if one data centre was disabled, there’d be another available elsewhere.

Good idea … until an “an isolated, ‘one-of-a-kind occurrence’ ” deleted the entire customer account.  Because the Google account was removed, all the linked data was also removed across both server locations.

Fund members were locked out of their accounts for a week while the fund and Google scrambled to restore service.

Backups with another company

This is where smart backup planning pays off.  Not only did the fund duplicate their data to two Google locations, they had more backups stored with a totally different company.

From that non-Google backup, they were able to restore services.  It took time but at least they had copies to restore from.

It could happen to anyone … even you

Microsoft’s OneDrive has various backup features. Versions are saved of Office documents and deleted files are retained for (usually) 30 days.  Behind the scenes, your data is synced across multiple servers to make sure your files are always available.

But if your Microsoft account is deleted, all the linked data is gone, gone, gone.  Recovering files from a deleted account would be difficult, if not practically impossible.

Account deletion could happen.  It might be done accidently or someone hacks into your Microsoft account and maliciously deletes the account.

Have your own copies of cloud stored files

For that reason, among many others, it’s important to have your own copies of all your files. Don’t rely on Microsoft, Google or anyone else to store all your files.

Modesty (almost) forbids us mentioning our ebook Everyday Backups which explains how to ensure you have copies of all your important files including copies of cloud stored files on OneDrive, Google Drive or other providers.

Everyday Backups

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