On my list of things to do today is to back up the data on my various computers. I mention this because one of the things I do to back up certain e-mail is to send it to a Gmail account that is strictly for backup and cloud accessibility for information as I work on various machines. And then I saw this article on The Consumerist:
According to forums, users found messages, chat logs and attachment[s] had vanished due to a mistake by Google. Affected users found that their accounts had been reset. Users reportedly were treated as though they had just signed up for the service when they logged on.
Can you imagine logging on to an account to find all of your information missing? I know a number of people who use Gmail and other Web-based accounts because the accounts are so readily available from anywhere and because there is a belief that mail in the cloud is safe from potential hard drive crashes and viruses.
The news about Gmail follows a report from Backup My Info! that found while business leaders believe backing up data is vital for disaster recovery and business continuity, only 52 percent of companies check backup functions regularly. That means there is a lot of trust involved in the backup process, trust that everything is being saved and that the information will be easily available when needed.
As I've mentioned before, backing up data should be part of the security policy because it provides records of the data that is lost or stolen. It also gives you peace of mind should something go horribly wrong, such as an e-mail account that has been accidentally deleted.