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August 11, 2011 / David Bleeker

How to protect your data when a cloud service vanishes

More and more, we rely on Web services as a matter of course. The key word is rely: We assume that the data we upload to, say, a photo-hosting account or blog service today will still be there tomorrow. In large part, that’s because we assume the services themselves will still be there tomorrow.

But over the past few years, we’ve seen plenty of examples of sites that are here today and all-too-gone tomorrow — for example, Friendster (which dumped user data for a redesign in May) and GeoCities (which shut down in 2009).

In other words, nothing lasts forever. The Web services that we entrust with our data can — and do — vanish. And when that happens, you need to have a plan. In the following pages, take a look at some cases where user data was lost or endangered, how the companies (and their users) handled the situation, and what you can do to keep your own information safe. [read more]


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