|I never trusted online backups. I do not trust them to keep my data safe. Nor to keep them private. Nor to allow me to store arbitrary files. Nor to be able to present my photo album to my grandchildren 50 years from now. Nor to not show them my very personal notes that were meant for noone but myself.
I could use an online backup to save an extra backup, in case my primary backup is lost. A lot of files in that extra backup would be encrypted before sending them down in the crypt. I am not currently doing that.
Does the online bakcup have an offsite bakcup? (Thanks to fgs1963 for reminding us about offsite copies!) This story seems to suggest that the answer is 'No'.
There are a couple other points that are often overlooked: I have some old files backed up on both DC100 and DC300 quarter inch tape cassette. (Actually, I even have some files on 1/2" open reel 7-track tape, but I made that tape mostly to learn how to handle the tape station, not really for bakup purposes). I have files on two different Travan tape cassettes. I have at least one hundred 8" floppies (they were really flopping!). The first digital camera I used saved the photos on 2" floppies - I still got the floppies, but the camera belonged to my workplace, 30+ years ago. I never had my own Travan station; it belonged to my workplace, too. Obviously, I didn't have a 7-track tape station at home. I could have had a DC300 (the format changed name to QIC); they weren't that expensive, but I rather brought my private files to work and saved them to tape there.
I guess that if my life depended on it, it would be possible to have the files on QIC tape recovered. It probably would take too much time to save my life. It probably would be terribly expensive. But there were a whole crowd of variants, in track layout, packing density etc., so don't expect just any old QIC station to be able to read my first-generation DC300 tapes (before the QIC standard arrived). The open reel and Travan tapes, and the 2" floppy, are nice computer museum artifacts. Even if my life depended on it, I guess I would have crossed the river before anyone could get hold of a reader for them.
I actually have both 5.25" and 3.5" floppy units, but I am about to ditch the PC that can handle them; I haven't booted it for years. Most likely, some of my friends still have 3.5" units, Maybe even 5.25", I wouldn't be sure of that.
Then comes the second major problem:
I have migrated 'the most important' files from one medium to another. Over 40 years, I have created documents in more than a dozen different formats. Note that some filename extensions (such as .doc) hide several generations of formats which may be quite different, but new software versions handle all the old formats too. For photos, the number of formats exceed two dozen. Sound: Somewhere between one and two dozen. Video: A handful of different raw formats. At least four 'final' formats. I've got analog tapes with no noise reduction, with Dolby B, Dolby C and open-reel tapes with dBX noise reduction.
Some of my amateur photographer friends insist on saving all their photos in '.raw' format, seriously believing that there is One Unique and Never Changing Raw Format. That 'raw' is a totally unambiguous concept. It isn't.
I am quite sure that in basements, attics and safe deposit boxes, there are millions of diskettes, tapes and other storage media for which the owner no longer has a reader. If he gets hold of one, there is a great risk that he won't have the software to read the media (there are other file systems than FAT, NTFS and the 42 different *nix file systems!), or if he can copy the files to his current PC, that he has no software to display or play the files.
So, a great deal of the backups made are useless. Cannot be retrieved, or retrieval will be tremendously expensive. So maybe it is a good thing that 'Social' Media teaches us to treat anything that is more than a week old as outdated and irrelevant. No modern grandpa or grandma digs up an photo album from their childhood, to show and tell the grandchildren how it was back then. The old ones never even suggest it, and the kids would find it boring. So it doesn't really matter if the files are lost.