What You Don’t Know About The Google Apps Cloud CAN Hurt You
The majority of the world’s computer users have used or are currently using Microsoft Office, Open Office, or one of many similar products for their desktop business application needs. A recent entrant to the fray, Google Apps boasts only about 50 million current users, a fraction of the reported half-a-billion users currently using Microsoft Office. As a recent convert to Google Apps, I have become a big believer in the benefits of cloud computing-based productivity software, and I believe that Google is a real threat to the Microsoft Office franchise. The Google Apps advantages are many, including ease-of-use, low cost, portability, and simple collaboration, but there are pitfalls when using Google Apps of which all users should be aware.
There’s a common misconception that once your data is in the cloud, it will stay there forever; but just like with an actual cloud, this isn’t the case. The cloud changes, shifts, morphs, and sometimes even shrinks when data is removed. Knowing this, it’s important to think about data protection issues for cloud computing and address them head-on. Here are a few you of these pitfalls should plan for:
You. This sounds very Kung Fu, but sometimes, you really are your own worst enemy. Whether you’re working with all of your files locally or storing them in the cloud, one thing is universal: it is absolutely possible to accidentally delete something with a few keystrokes or a click of the mouse. It has happened to all of us, and as sure as we breathe, it will probably happen again.
But how do you recover it once it’s gone? With desktop office productivity tools, if the file’s been deleted accidentally, you would always hold on to that small hope that it’s in your Recycle Bin or Trash folder somewhere, easily recoverable. If you’ve emptied the Trash since then though, you’re out of luck. With Google Apps, there’s also a Trash folder you can search. But in either case, the best and most foolproof solution is to have a backup system in place. People are always surprised to hear that backup is required in cloud computing, but alas, your files can disappear there just as easily as they can anywhere else. Luckily, most backup solutions for the cloud are affordable and easy to use.
Hackers. Most of us have had to send out this email at one point:
If you’ve gotten any email from me recently that’s just a link, DON’T OPEN IT! My account got hacked. So sorry you guys!
It’s one thing when your personal email is sending out spam to your friends, but when a hacker gets access to your business account, there’s a lot of sensitive information that they can access, not just in your emails but in the attached documents, contacts and more. (Ask the New York Times!)
Hackers could also be sending unsolicited junk and malicious emails to your contacts, at the expense of your reputation in the eyes of your clients and business partners. Hackers are not just a cloud problem; they’re everybody’s problem.
How do you protect yourself? There are services like 1Password, LastPass and KeePass that generate the most hacker-proof passwords and store them for you. Now, you’ll never remember any of these long and complicated passwords, but these services will do that for you so that you can log into everything with a single password. It’s entirely the same as how you’re doing it now, just more secure.
Bad syncs, data corruption and network glitches. Answers.com once lost 4,000 documents to a Google Drive ownership transfer glitch. Fortunately, Spanning Backup was able to restore the documents for them before that “giant sucking sound” reached their administrator’s ears. And if you’ve ever sent a file over the network and had to resend it because the person on the other end couldn’t open the first version, you’ve seen first hand how easily files can get corrupted. The same dynamics are in play when you use Google Apps, including lots of data being sent over a sometimes unpredictable network. The cloud is great because it syncs everything beautifully most of the time, but there are times where a sync fails or file corruption occurs. It just happens; it’s another thing that is universal.
Switching to the cloud opens up a whole new world of possibilities – better collaboration, constant auto-saves, shorter email threads, and freedom from the host of little quirks that plague traditional desktop client/server software. But don’t get lulled into a false sense of cloud security; just as with on-premise software and systems, you need to take steps to protect your data. With just a little bit of planning and foresight, you can be ready to recover flawlessly when disaster strikes.
And as I already mentioned how Spanning saved the day for Answers.com above, they could do the same for you whether you are a huge corporate entity or a lone Joe going through college. Spanning Backup is the most trusted Google Apps backup service on the market today. Find out why by visiting www.spanning.com or the Google Apps Marketplace.
By Jeff Erramouspe, Chief Revenue Officer, Spanning Cloud Apps
Sponsored Post By Spanning.com