The Dangers of Auto-Backup

Although auto-backup systems may seem like a fail-safe option for storing important information, there are a number of circumstances in which an automatic backup system (ABS) can create a danger to organizations. A few examples include issues related to location control, privacy policies and even the difference between regulated and unregulated information.

What Is Auto-Backup?

As it pertains to computerized data, an Automatic Backup System (ABS) — more commonly known as auto-backup — is essentially a system that can enable you to recover stored information should the data disappear from your computer system. Although advances in technology continue to enable the creation and development of more reliable computer data storage, any hard drive can still fail, resulting in the loss of important information.

Why Do People Use It?

For many people, one of the more attractive benefits of an auto-backup system is that multiple copies of the same data are often created for added protection. In addition, automatic backup systems, when successful, are immune to things like floods, fires and various other damaging environmental factors.

What You Need to Know

In addition to asking yourself what type of data storage options may work best for you and your organization, you may want to consider a few little-known facts about using an automatic backup system. The following is just a sampling of the many details involved when it comes to data storage. However, once you are fully aware of the potential risks of auto-backup, you are sure to be equipped with the information you need to make an informed decision.

1. Location Control

When it comes to the utmost safety of important information, it is essential for organizations to store their back-up data in a separate location from the primary storage location. However, many online backup services retain complete control over the backup storage location. This can become dangerous for many business owners because it often makes it difficult to understand which law enforcement practices and policies apply to the specific stored data.

2. Privacy Policies

Since the implementation of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, all financial institutions are required to disclose their individual privacy policies as it pertains to sharing personal information. Due to the complexities of auto-backup storage providers and their level of control over the data being stored, it may be nearly impossible for an organization to disclose exactly what and how their customers’ information is shared. Therefore, you may not have the ability to protect your organization’s stored data in the way you would like.

3. Regulated vs. Unregulated Data

Regulated data includes private information like credit reports, driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers. This personal identifying information is protected by strict legal policies. Due to the added safeguards often put in place, the costs associated with this type of auto-backup data storage can be quite significant.

Unregulated data, however, primarily consists of public information easily obtained through property tax records and even utility records. With a clear understanding of the type of data you need to backup and store, you can better assess the level of security you need from your data storage company to lower the risks associated with using an auto-backup system.

Final Thought

Like many people, you may not be fully aware of all of the potentially tricky aspects of utilizing an auto-backup system. In fact, you may even be paying for a high level of security for your data storage when the information you store does not require it.

The main point here is that there is nothing inherently “wrong” with using an automatic backup system. However, it is essential to remain fully apprised of exactly what your legal obligations are as well as how securely your data is stored.

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