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Corporate social responsibility has become very important in the eyes of consumers, and can be a deciding factor when choosing between similar service providers in any industry. Eco-friendly office practices range from turning off monitors and lights when not in use, to growing potted plants in order to improve air-quality. Whilst the ‘hug-a-tree’ campaign might look highly contrived and melodramatic in the context of an office, the idea of having online data backup is a much more practical one than any other. It does not compromise on data security or availability, but does away with the reams of paper that otherwise have to be stored.

Added security for your data
Online backup is all about long-term sustainability, but it does not mean cutting corners with regard to security. Data is as safe as it would be in a strong room, as access to each file, folder, document or spreadsheet can be limited by user or group, and sharing can be done in a number of ways. For example, the authority to share a particular document can be restricted within a group or a level in the hierarchy. Alternatively, the document can be shared by anyone with the URL, and this makes the whole concept of sharing as customizable or as restricted as the user requires. The owner of a document always has the right to edit or share it with other people at their discretion.

Sharing a document reduces the need for copying, pasting or cutting, and copies and transfers via e-mail attachment need not be made. This brings us to the very important point of data security. Allowing the copying of data means that a copy might fall into the wrong hands, but not allowing any copies to be made at all results in the restriction of shared information. This defeats the purpose of decision-making by various levels and teams. The solution provided when using this type of backup is to allow sharing of documents between relevant people with a password protection, so that information is available only to those who are entitled to view it.

A wide variety of choice
A huge benefit of cloud backup is that there are so many different packages available, and users can choose the best package according to their individual needs. Service providers usually offer a limited trial period of 30 days, with no obligation to join the service. It is only a trial period which lets you get a feel for the service without having to make a prior commitment.
Consideration needs to be given to many factors before making a purchase, and a trial period is a very convenient way of testing the water.

David Hamer is an online author who specialises in articles about data storage.