What’s the Best Way to Back Up Personal Financial Data?

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What would happen if your computer were to suddenly ‘die’ and your data on the computer was no longer accessible? Do you have your personal financial data backed up? If affirmative; is it backed up securely? If affirmative; no need to read any further😊. If you replied “no” to the first question, then ask yourself this: Could you recreate all your personal and financial data? If affirmative; you also need not read any further!

It helps to disaster-proof your personal computer data which could possibly save you tons of time and money in restoring your data back to your computer. One way to back up your data is in “the Cloud” (an off-site server).  Cloud data backups are a simple way to store the existing data on your computer to an off-site server – making it readily available when you need access. Data to the Cloud is frequently auto synced/updated thus mirroring your system in real time.

Backing up to the Cloud can be quite seamless and easy to use compared to having physical storage devices in a person’s home. They also make it particularly useful as our digital archives grow. There are some very well-known Cloud backup services such as Microsoft OneDrive, Google Cloud Platform, and Dropbox, to name of few. When we think of those type of services, we should be concerned with the digital security of those systems or any other system we might choose.

One thing to remember when one uses a ‘free’ service: if you choose to no longer use that service, you accept the risk of no longer being able to use that backup Cloud service in the future. As a rule, people usually do not worry about photo archiving in the Cloud nor having any other personal data being potentially spied upon. On the other hand, if you are archiving your financial data in the Cloud, do you know if the data is secure while being uploaded or downloaded? Vendors of Cloud services can provide all types of guarantees, but the reality is that there can be unforeseen events such as natural disasters.

Choosing a subscription model with a reputable, trusted company that securely backs up your data is a good blueprint for proper care of your archives. And if you have it where your data is automatically backed up, you will be relieved of the stress of knowing that if your computer crashes, you should have the latest iteration of your documents.

So, how does one choose from an overwhelming list of Cloud storage systems? First, it does help if you know approximately how much Cloud storage you will need. Additionally, the following questions should be considered when finding a service that might fit your needs for Cloud backup:

  • Do they have 24/7 support?
  • Is their “uptime” steady and always available?
  • How many customers do they have?
  • What is the satisfaction rate of their customers?
  • How secure are uploads/downloads?
  • Do they have data protection services?
  • What is their price compared to other services?
  • Do they charge an initial small price and then quite it bit more when reviewing storage compacity?
  • How easy is it to setup and use?
  • Do they have a natural disaster recovery plan?
  • What are their terms of service? Be sure to read the fine print.  

Cloud Storage Definition (investopedia.com) offers more information on this subject which you might find helpful. May the force, or Cloud, be with you!

Brett Lathrup

Meet the Author:
Brett Lathrup

Brett Lathrup is a financial advisor at White Raven Financial. Prior to his transition to financial planning, Brett lived in Atlanta and worked with contractors and architects in the commercial building industry. Spending most of his days looking at building plans and sifting through construction documents taught him how to hyper focus on the details, no matter how small.

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