5 reasons why you should back up your data to the cloud

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Whether it's your computer, smartphone, or tablet, there's a lot of personal information on devices you don't want to lose. That's why the best cloud services have become so popular in recent years. Today's services are compatible with various devices and available at low monthly prices, depending on how much data you have that needs to be backed up. Better still, some of the cloud service options are even available for free

There are many reasons to back up your data to the cloud. Some of these have less to do with peace of mind and more to do with organization. Here at the top reasons to consider a cloud backup service. 

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1. Peace of mind

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Imagine losing forever your tax documents, precious photos, and much more. There's no doubt about it; losing your digital data would become a significant headache. However, those items are better protected by using a cloud service for backup.

Cloud services like iDrive, Internxt, and pCloud work together. With remote servers, you can store data and access it from various devices—the one requirement is an internet connection. 

Three types of services on the market are under the cloud moniker: cloud storage, cloud computing, and cloud networking. The first is most beneficial if you're looking for an external backup solution. With cloud storage, you don't have to worry about backing up your files locally. Instead, you send them automatically to the cloud, accessible across all your devices.

If your digital documents are stored locally on a personal computer (and not backed up), a hardware problem could quickly lead to data loss. With cloud storage, your data is kept on multiple devices at various locations that a third party maintains. Therefore, your data is protected if one server crashes since it's located in different physical areas. In addition, regardless of location, the data is protected physically and digitally using various barriers such as facility security and two-factor authentication. 

2. Organizing your thoughts and sharing data

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Better organization is another reason to consider backing up your data to the cloud. The very act of storing your data offsite and in various locations is a form of organization. Drilling down, you can use multiple software tools to organize better, including cloud-based management and productivity software.

Sharing is another significant benefit. Recall that cloud-based storage makes it possible to access your data from anywhere with an internet connection. Now imagine collaborating with others for some of those documents. Collaborating on projects, regardless of someone's location, allows sharing files and staying organized in real-time. 

You can use a long list of unique online collaboration tools to create, share, and edit documents and other digital items with others. These include Microsoft 365, Slack, Asana, and more. While each tends to have different strengths, they each have one thing in common: the data is online. 

3. Save some money

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Another important reason to turn to cloud storage is cost. The most popular platforms charge just pennies each day. Better still, you only have to pay more when your needs scale upward. For example, in the United States, Google One currently offers users 100GB of data for $2 per month. However, that number can climb to as high as $159/month for access to 30TB of storage. 

Sure, you can purchase one of the best external hard drives for Mac and otherwise and forgo a cloud storage solution. However, going the local route comes with many disadvantages, even if the price for the device seems like a deal. 

For example, our favorite cloud storage provider, iDrive, charges as little as $4 per year for 10TB of data storage for the first year of service. A well-reviewed Seagate Backup Plus Portable hard drive could set you back $200 or more for the same amount of storage. 

On the surface, that number might seem worth it since you'll own the device. However, the information on that device will be less protected since it's physically only one device. Additionally, the weather, a would-be thief, or even an accidental push of a computer key could either move or destroy the device or cause its contents to become inoperable. You won't have these issues with cloud storage. 

4. Protection from malware

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Malware comes in many forms, from viruses to ransomware. Today's computers, those local and "in the cloud," can be affected by malware. However, it's much easier to protect your data when it's stored offsite in the cloud. 

Today, it's much easier to update computer software and download much-needed security fixes to combat the latest virus. However, we're all human and live busy lives, and forgetting to install the latest update on Windows or macOS happens. It's during those times malware could take control of your data or expose it to others. 

Using a cloud storage provider makes it more likely your data is protected from the latest malware attack. Reasons range from your data being stored on more than one computer to a third-party having effective software upgrade policies. 

5. Comply with regulations

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Cloud backup regulations are a set of rules and guidelines that businesses must follow to protect customer data that is stored in the cloud. These regulations vary from country to country, but they typically require companies to implement specific security measures, such as encryption and access controls. They may also need businesses to keep customer data for a certain period or to delete it upon request.

The world's most comprehensive data protection regulation, Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, outlines rules on everything from access controls to encryption to what happens when a data breach occurs. And it doesn't end there. GDPR applies to a wide range of information, including names, email addresses, images, bank details, posts on social networking websites, medical information, or even a computer IP address.

Though current government cloud backup regulations mainly target businesses, individuals aren't immune to the rules. After all, the data covered by the laws is owned by people who don't want to lose it — or see it fall into someone else's hands. 

You might also be interested in the pros and cons of cloud storage and putting your data to good use.

Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe is a staff writer at TechRadar, iMore, and wherever Future can use him. Though his passion is Apple-based products, he doesn't have a problem using Windows and Android. Bryan's a single father of a 15-year-old daughter and a puppy, Isabelle. Thanks for reading!