Saturday, August 3, 2013

Are we relying too much on Google?

A lot of people have a Google account, a Facebook account or a Twitter account.  Often they'll have all of them, just in case...

For several years, I've been managing my contacts, emails and calendar with Google.  It's easy, well integrated into many devices and free.  But lately I've been wondering what would happen if Google blocked my account for any reason.  You know, the kind of glitch that could make you cry until everything settles.

This kind of scenario has already happened with Google or any other providers like Yahoo or Microsoft.  You put everything into your favorite service provider and suddenly, your account is blocked.  No more contacts, no more calendar, no more documents...  A nightmare!

The benefits with cloud services is that you have a better chance of not loosing your data because of a disk failure.  We all created backups of our disk drive only to find out that the backup was physically corrupted when we needed it.  Remember that they told us that CD's were indestructible?

For the last few years, we've been pushed to rely on online services for everything.  For sure, Google's servers are much more reliable than my USB drive.  The main issue is that it is possible to lose the access to your account for any reasons.  A glitch, a suspicious document, a term that you didn't know in their policies.  Anything is possible.

We all said one day that we should backup everything locally, just in case but we never do it.  Everything is working fine so why bother.  That's the problem!  It's a bit like seat-belts in your car, you don't need them until you have an accident...

Just to be safe, I'll backup everything after finishing this post.  Better lose a few minutes of my day than lose years of data on a glitch.

And you?

Patrick Balleux

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