October 25, 2012 | by Ben Crawford
We are all beginning to love the Cloud as it begins to consume all of our data. Pictures, Music, Documents, and everything else you can cram into the web’s ether are easily shared and stored through these services. Box, Dropbox, Sugarsync, Imgur, Minus, Google Drive and more all vying for your precious files. However, there is an all-too-real dark side. Data loss, Terms of Service violations, and account deletions are all serious problems.
We can mostly ignore them because they happen to someone else or someone else did something stupid to abuse these services’ good graces. Sometimes, though, accidents happen and you lose 5000 pictures. As we’ve seen numerous times with apps getting removed from Google or books getting removed from Kindles, these entities don’t have to give an explanation for their actions or help you in any way either. Your stuck with or without your backups of these files. Some of us (myself especially) rely upon these services without question.
All of my music is in Google Music, all of my pictures are in Picasa/Google+, and my important documents are saved in Dropbox. But what if my Google account was hacked or Dropbox decided to delete my account? Well, I would be up a creek without a paddle. I found myself there this week.
I wasn’t able to log in to my Minus account for a few days so I sent them an email. I didn’t receive a response until I sent several more emails attempting to confirm my Minus account. Minus asked if I had an account that had violated their ToS, but I had never been contacted up to that point so I assumed I hadn’t violated their ToS. Now, I can’t login, view my pictures, or get a response.
It’s probably been hammered over and over, but this is a friendly reminder to save all of your files locally. Cloud services are wonderful and I’ll never stop using them, but I’ll also never rely upon them completely anymore. Accidents happen, and they can be very unfortunate even if you’re prepared. As much of an inconvenience saving everything locally may be now, if something like this ever happens to you, you’ll be sitting comfortably knowing all your files are still safe.