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6 Jul 2020

We all need to be active participants in protecting our data

The change to Google Photos’ backup policy is a reminder that we all need to be active participants in protecting our data

This was something that was brought into view with the news that Google photos will no longer backup social media photos by default. The step — supposedly temporary — was taken in order to help save some resource utilization, which has been rapidly growing over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

To a certain extent this could seem like a trivial story, especially in the context of the last few years of scandal and congressional hearings. But it underlines the way that things we take for granted (like backup and data security) are, when left to tech giants like Google, beyond our control. A shift in policy or a snap business decision, and suddenly the service or tools that you foolishly thought would just be around for eternity have disappeared.

Granted, in this instance you can simply enable Google’s backup by heading to your settings, but that’s besides the point. Suddenly, after months and years of hardly thinking about this sort of stuff, you now need to be an active participant in your software and in your data security.

Of course, being an active participant in your software — and its security in particular — has always been valuable. While the services and platforms that we use every single day might feel like they’ll always be around, things can quickly change. This means that if you store valuable information and data on these services, it’s essential that you take the necessary steps to keep them safe and secure.

Indeed, this is particularly true where services and platforms are free. The fact that there’s no transaction happening makes it all too easy to forget that you’re actually using a service. And when you factor in the fact that support is often incredibly light (if nonexistent) for free services, if you run into problems, recovering or retrieving data could become a nightmare. Even fairly routine issues like being locked out of your account could become a problem — in that scenario the problem isn’t so much the reliability of the software, but rather your somewhat precarious relationship with it.

From policy changes and login problems, to larger issues of data loss and disaster, there are many things that could put your data out of reach if we blindly rely on the likes of Google. And although we often all take calculated risks, for data that is particularly valuable — whether that’s professionally or personally — taking steps to actively protect your data is hugely important.

Don’t rely on the tech giants to protect data that really matters to you. Take a more active role in protecting data by investing in tools and software that put you in control.

Backup with Macrium — learn more here.

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