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With the ever expanding need for more and more space, consumers have turned to online backup services to address storage requirements. Since the market has been keeping pace with the customers’ needs, there are now countless services available to choose from. However, what requirements should be addressed before you hit that purchase or subscribe button? Here’s a checklist to help you decide.
1) Service Level Agreements. In the context of online backup services, service level agreement or an SLA is basically a contract between the service provider and the subscriber. The SLA essentially includes but is not limited to services, priorities, and responsibilities to be rendered by the service provider in exchange for the fee or any mode of payment from the subscriber. The SLA is important in terms of the vendor’s commitment to its response and processing times of clients’ requests particularly for recovery purposes. Read the details carefully. If the online backup service you are looking at doesn’t have this in any form, that’s a clear red flag.
2) Security. Whether accidental or intentional, unauthorized access to your information must be restricted at all costs. Ensure that your service provider can readily provide the details on how your information will be accessed, stored and retrieved. A good online backup service provider should have these information at the ready and should even throw in strong file encryption methods and access control standards. In an increasingly sophisticated technological environment, security is a strong point of discussion for online storage concerns.
3) Confidentiality. Is is safe to send and store private or personal information via online backup service? This third item on the list is closely related to the second one. Confidentiality refers to who will be able to access the information you store in your online backup service. This is where encryption comes in not only during the send and retrieve transmission but also for the duration of your information’s stay in the online backup service’s storage system. Read the service provider’s confidentiality clause before you register. If the details are unclear or very generic, store your confidential information with caution.
At the minimum, a good online backup service provider should be able to offer all three of the above requirements. With the proliferation of similar services offering the sun and the moon to consumers, you can never be wary enough on who delivers on their spiel. In case it sounds too good to be true, don’t be seduced by their promises because it most probably is.