To answer this question we need to take a look at what Dropbox and other online storage services, such as Google Drive and OneDrive, are actually designed for. The main purpose of these services is to have quick access to files wherever you are and also easily share files, be it to co-workers or your friends and family.
We use these services here at VSL, making use of Dropbox and Microsoft Teams for collaboration on our general day-to-day tasks, such as sharing files in online meetings. However, there are a few reasons why they aren’t the best solution for backing up your data.
At the top of our list is security. With cybercrime forecast to stretch into the trillions of pounds worth of damage to companies worldwide by 2021, it is incredibly important to firstly, have your data backed up and second of all, secure. One of the primary focuses for data backup services, like Datahive, is safeguarding all client data. The data you upload and store on Dropbox is not encrypted on the client side (That’s your side!) unless you have encrypted it before uploading. Yes, they are encrypted on their end, so if hackers manage to get into their servers then it should still be protected should they get hold of the data. However, if they get access to your account then all of your files are there for them to see, completely unprotected.
If you were to use Datahive, for example, as your data backup service, the data would be encrypted before you send it off, generating an encryption key that only you will have access to. Some backup providers keep hold of these and say it is in case you forget. We think this is a potential security risk and think you’d be much better off being the only person with access to this key.
Another reason Dropbox may not be the best solution is that it requires regular input from the user. Making sure you’re adding files into the correct folder to ensure they stay synced up, or even having to upload to them directly. With online backup services, you can select every folder on your computer should you wish to, be it your documents, photos, videos or even your desktop. Set it once and then you can leave it to backup automatically in the background with no further input. Don’t give yourself extra tasks to do! You’re busy enough as it is!
Overall, Dropbox is great for storing non-sensitive files and quickly sharing files with colleagues, but it shouldn’t be used by itself when considering options for data backup to the cloud. In fact, should you wish to use Dropbox still, you can do what we do and select the sync folder to backup automatically with Datahive too, so you should never lose a file again!