Best Way to Securely Store Documents

mbrink12

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 13, 2017
77
21
According to my MacBook Pro, I've got 20.04 GB available, and 36.95 GB of documents. I was in grad school, so I have quite a few notes still left on my computer from then. What is the best way to securely store documents, other than backing up to a hard drive? What have yall found that are safe options, something like Google Drive or is there another secure option to clear up space on my hard drive?
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,302
880
New Hampshire
According to my MacBook Pro, I've got 20.04 GB available, and 36.95 GB of documents. I was in grad school, so I have quite a few notes still left on my computer from then. What is the best way to securely store documents, other than backing up to a hard drive? What have yall found that are safe options, something like Google Drive or is there another secure option to clear up space on my hard drive?
If it needs to be secure, don't put it on the cloud.

We're not allowed to store our work product on public clouds. So it's stored on the local SSD or on company servers.

I've had to deal with the storage issue myself as I only have 500 GB on my MacBook Pro. So I bought a 512 GB SD card and that's always stuck into my 2014 MBP as additional storage. I plan to get a 1 TB SD card when they come down in price. There's a 1 TB MBP for sale that I'm pondering as well. A 1 TB SSD + an additional 512 SD card would be nice. A 1 TB + 1 TB should keep my in good shape for several more years.

I looked at 1 TB Flash drives too. Not a bad solution but I'd rather have something that's always there.

Does your MacBook Pro have an SD slot? The ExpressCard slot was great too.
 

gilby101

macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2010
143
50
Tasmania
What is the best way to securely store documents
What do you mean by 'securely'?

Securely in the sense that the documents are safe from loss - cloud storage can be good (google, dropbox, onedrive, iCloud, etc).

Securely in the sense that only you can read them - cloud storage not so good unless you encrypt the documents.

And you should have the documents in at least two places (secure against loss) - e.g. local hard disk and a cloud service.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,472
888
^^^^This.

Basically, the 3-2-1 idea of backups.

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/the-3-2-1-backup-strategy/

Me, I have six different SSD/HDD with some subset of my data, mostly on encrypted volumes. Three cloud accounts that I store copies of things (encrypt the zip files before uploading to cloud).

If using cloud, you will want to not install the desktop client app, as they will not move the data off the computer, will just mirror it. Will want to manually upload via their web sites. Or, install the client, upload via client, uninstall client, delete files off computer.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,977
4,555
I've had to deal with the storage issue myself as I only have 500 GB on my MacBook Pro. So I bought a 512 GB SD card and that's always stuck into my 2014 MBP as additional storage. I plan to get a 1 TB SD card when they come down in price. There's a 1 TB MBP for sale that I'm pondering as well. A 1 TB SSD + an additional 512 SD card would be nice. A 1 TB + 1 TB should keep my in good shape for several more years.
What about a backup strategy though?
 

Cayenne1

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2016
25
12
Knoxville, TN
A related question. Long Term Archival of Digital Media.

I'm in the process of scanning in my slides to view via Plex over our NAS. Many of these are 40 yr old Kodachrome's that look as good today as when I took them. It got me to thinking about the longevity of digital documents.

So, in 40 years,

Will you still be able to retrieve your digital documents/photos? and how?
Will that cloud storage still be viable?
Will a DVD copy of your docs still be readable and on what?
(I don't think DVD media is rated that long.)
I won't care in 40 years as I'll be gone, but you might. Today many of us look through old family photos past down from our parents.

How are you going to pass down your digital family history to your grandkids and theirs to come???
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,200
5,544
"What is the best way to securely store documents, other than backing up to a hard drive?"

There isn't.

Unless you want to PAY for cloud storage -- then you'll be paying forever for the privilege of archiving old files, many of which you may never look at again.

Better way:
Get a couple of small SSDs.
128gb SSDs can be had now for $20 each, or LESS.

Create an archive on one of them, copy all your "old stuff" to it.
Then, use CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper to "dupe" the first drive to a second one.
Put one in a safe place at home.
If possible, keep the other one "off-site" to protect against disasters.

And remember:
ONE COPY of your stuff IS NOT ENOUGH.
Two is the minimum.
Three is much better.
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Mar 12, 2002
4,119
3
BrisVegas, Australia
I know that external HDD/SSD have really come down in price now, but my personal feeing is that cloud storage is the easiest option now. No dealing with multiple drives etc., just click a button and backups done - safe secure and off site.

Yes you have to pay - but there is some really good deals available from smaller, more agile cloud storage companies. For the cost of an external SSD you can have years worth of cloud storage. Lifetime cloud plans are now a thing - lifetime 10TB for $99 sounds like a good deal to me!!
 

pshufd

macrumors 65816
Oct 24, 2013
1,302
880
New Hampshire
I know that external HDD/SSD have really come down in price now, but my personal feeing is that cloud storage is the easiest option now. No dealing with multiple drives etc., just click a button and backups done - safe secure and off site.

Yes you have to pay - but there is some really good deals available from smaller, more agile cloud storage companies. For the cost of an external SSD you can have years worth of cloud storage. Lifetime cloud plans are now a thing - lifetime 10TB for $99 sounds like a good deal to me!!
I just plug in a USB cable at home or the office. I don't need to click a button - Time Machine runs when it runs in the background. I'd plug the USB cable in regardless for my external keyboard and mouse.

The big advantage of local is restore time. If I lose my system, I can drive to The Apple Store, buy a machine, bring it to office or home, hook it up to Time Machine and be back up and running in about three hours. If you lose your machine, how long would it take to restore it over the cloud? My ISP has a 1 TB/month data cap and I'd have to navigate through that with a cloud backup.
 

hobowankenobi

macrumors 6502a
Aug 27, 2015
981
262
on the land line mr. smith.
A related question. Long Term Archival of Digital Media.

I'm in the process of scanning in my slides to view via Plex over our NAS. Many of these are 40 yr old Kodachrome's that look as good today as when I took them. It got me to thinking about the longevity of digital documents.

So, in 40 years,

Will you still be able to retrieve your digital documents/photos? and how?
Will that cloud storage still be viable?
Will a DVD copy of your docs still be readable and on what?
(I don't think DVD media is rated that long.)
I won't care in 40 years as I'll be gone, but you might. Today many of us look through old family photos past down from our parents.

How are you going to pass down your digital family history to your grandkids and theirs to come???
Good question.

Most digital media has a reletively short life. Archival Grade DVDs claim up to 100 years. Even if you cut that in half to 50 years to be conservative, that is decades longer than I would trust most other available options: CDs, hard drives, flash drives, etc.

But the future generations would need a DVD player. What are the odds of that? I don't still have a cassette player, an 8mm movie projector, a 5-1/4" floppy drive.

Same with USB A, SATA, pretty much every format and protocol is at risk of becoming obsolete. May have to migrate data forward to the new standard storage about once a decade...forever.

Ironcially, enterprise cloud storage may be the best. Providers use file systems that prevent file degration (bit rot or bit flipping), and have more redundancy than most folks could afford. As long as future generations can open the type of file saved....and have access....cloud data could be available for many decades. Perhaps centuries. The down side is, like a bank, one has to trust them, that they and the data itself will be around as long as you wish it to be.