Yesterday, Megaupload, one of the largest online storage services on the internet, was shut down by the Department of Justice over copyright infringement charges. Regardless of your opinion on filesharing and fighting online piracy, there is an important lesson to be learned from this fiasco: it is dangerous to store all of your data in one place.
The comments I’ve read in response to the Megaupload bust have been heartbreaking. I’ve read about bands and artists who lost all of their legally owned work because they used Megaupload as their primary data storage service. I’ve read about people who lost albums of family pictures, and students who lost their schoolwork, research, and thesis papers. Years of hard work were wiped out with no warning and very little chance of recovery.
Don’t think that because you didn’t use Megaupload that you’re immune to these troubles. If you use popular online storage services like Dropbox or Amazon Cloud Drive, then use this incident as a lesson of what can happen when you put all of your digital eggs in one basket. What would happen to your data if one of these companies disappeared overnight? Would you be in complete panic mode because you just lost all of your life’s work? Don’t scoff at these questions–Megaupload has taught us that even large companies with vast financial and legal resources can still disappear overnight. Don’t take any chances.
How to Store Your Data Safely and Effectively
The most effective way to store your data is to use multiple forms of online and offline storage. The key here is to diversify. Don’t rely too heavily on one form of storage. Here are a few quick tips to help you protect your data effectively:
- Use TrueCrypt to encrypt your files.
- Use multiple online storage services.
- In addition to online storage, backups should be stored offline on a flash drive or DVD. For further security, keep the flash drive or DVD at a secure, separate location from your residence, such as a safe deposit box. This is to ensure that backups aren’t completely lost in case a disaster strikes your home.
- Backup your data regularly.