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Losing It

Not common for me, but I’m going to talk about something entirely unrelated to food.  Backing up your data.  Why?  I read an article that gave me such a chill I wanted to throw out my own thoughts on the subject.   I won’t bore you with the entire article, but a writer from had his accounts hacked and lost all his data.  This was the kind of tech writer who you can imagine posted quite a few articles over the years about doing routine backups.  He freely admits he messed up and didn’t have backups.   While having your Twitter account, Amazon payment info and Apple accounts compromised isn’t fun, what is tragic is losing every photograph of your young child.  And that’s exactly what happened to this guy.  Most chilling to me was the way he lost the photos.  The prankster (a 19 year old) compromised his Apple i.d. and used “Find my Iphone” to delete all the data on the phone.  Think about it.  This amazing app was intended to let you find your lost phone, and in extreme circumstances (like when you think your phone has been stolen) blow away all the data on the phone.  Where there is a will to mess with someone, there is a way!

I won’t go into all of the means by which this hacker was able to connive his way into hacking passwords.  I will say it was alarmingly simple, and that the only thing one company may show on their site (last 4 digits of your credit card, for instance) may be exactly what another company needs to provide access to your personal data.

Moral of the story?  While we all live connected lives, the companies that secure our data have done an absolutely terrible job of giving us ways to easily back up our data while keeping our private data private.   The Cloud sounds like a great place to do backups.  In fact we used online backup at both restaurants for years.  Have you ever tried to restore from that backup?  Have you thought about how easy it is to get access to your files?  I’m a Mac guy and think Apple has done a decent job of providing ways to back stuff up.  But a fried hard drive means backing up from the Airport Extreme.  Sounds great, as it is maintains a constant backup.  Restoring wirelessly sounds awesome but would take about 3 days with all of my files.  Thankfully there is a hard-wired ability to do it more quickly.

So where do we go from here?  Online or wireless backups seem to make sense.  The Cloud seems to make sense.  But in reality they both stink.  The best solution we’ve found is carrying around a briefcase full of external hard drives and changing passwords constantly.  Painful yes, but we haven’t lost any meaningful data in all these years.  We look forward to the day when someone comes up with a decent solution.  Please feel free to weigh in with your better solutions… we know they are out there!  In the meantime, go make a backup today for the hard drive or phone crash you know is inevitable!