In October 2016, hackers stole the personal data of 57 million customers and drivers from Uber. To make matters worse, the massive breach was concealed by the company for more than a year.
However, the ride-sharing company ousted their chief security officer and one of his deputies for their roles in keeping the hack under wraps.
The compromised data from the cyber attack included names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world.
In addition, the personal information of about 7 million drivers was accessed as well, including some 600,000 U.S. driver’s license numbers.
The way the cyber-attack worked was, two attackers accessed a private GitHub coding site used by Uber software engineers and then used login credentials they obtained to access data stored on an Amazon Web Services account.
From there, the hackers discovered an archive of rider and driver information. Later, they emailed Uber asking for money.
At the time of the incident, Uber was negotiating with U.S. regulators investigating separate claims of privacy violations. The problem is, after the cyber-attack, the company paid the hackers to delete the data and keep the breach quiet.
In fact, the company paid the hackers $100,000 and had them sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep the hack under wraps. According to current Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, “None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it.”
The fact is, Uber was hacked by cyber criminals and the company turned around and paid the criminals to stay quiet and delete the stolen records. To make that clear, Uber leadership thought they could trust two criminals who hacked into the company.
Now, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the same criminals who hacked into the Uber database probably didn’t really delete the records, but used a secure way to back up the data. My point is, if these hackers are smart enough to hack Uber, they are smart enough to keep the records secure.
Now hopefully, you’re not a hacker and you don’t need to backup anything illegal. But, you and I still need to protect ourselves by backing up our data in case hackers try to hold it hostage via something like Ransomware.
With that being said, here are the best ways to back up your data since this is something you should be doing on a regular basis.
USB stick. Using a USB drive is going to be your cheapest and most convenient option. USB sticks are everywhere, and their portability means that they’re easy to store and take wherever you need to use them.
The only drawback is that they are easily lost and they are limited on the about of data they can store. If you do use a USB drive, make sure that it is encrypted.
External hard drive. External hard drives are portable, easy to use, and can provide a large amount of storage. In other words, most external hard drives provide a larger amount of storage compared to USB drives.
Another advantage of using an external drive is that you can move them from computer to computer, making them great for sharing large files. Because of their large storage capacities, external hard drives are often used to store backed up files.
With that being said, external hard drives can fail, so if using them for a back up you may want to save critical documents on two different external hard drives. I would check out the My Passport hard drive.
Network Attached Storage. These days, most businesses tend to backup their files to network attached storage, but with more and more homes having multiple computers, this trend is growing for homeowners.
Basically, anyone using the same internet network can access the attached network storage to back up their files. The best part is it can be set up to automatically back up, so you don’t risk losing information if you forget to back up the system.
The network attached storage is going to be the most expensive option. I would look into storage devices made by Asustor, which start around $350.
Cloud storage. While network attached storage is essentially your own Cloud Server, there are plenty of third-party cloud storage options around. Many are free, paid, or free with paid extras.
When it comes to cloud storage iCloud, Dropbox, Google Drive and OneDrive are big names, but others are available. The best part of cloud storage is that you can access your data anywhere as long as you have internet access.
In addition, you can usually pay for as little or as much storage as you need, since pricing is usually tiered. The only drawback to cloud storage is that you are trusting a third-party to keep your information secure.
The reality is, it makes sense to back up your data in case your laptop is stolen, or your hard drive fails, but it also means that you have more options for recovery should your computer become infected with a virus or hijacked by cyber criminals who want you to pay them to get your files returned.