RootsTech 2015

Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger down, Blogs stopped

What was portrayed as a temporary outage, turned into a major interruption in Google’s Blogger program on May 12th and 13th.

Clicking on the link to sign in to your Blog account brought up the following screen:



Further clicking on the link showed the following screen:


Apparently, the problem is more complicated than they anticipated. Here is a quote from SecurityInfoWatch.com:
This morning there was another news report about data compromise. Arts-and-crafts retailer Michaels Stores Inc. said Thursday that some customer debit and credit card information has been compromised by PIN pad tampering in its Chicago-area stores.

Authorities have confirmed that thieves have plundered some victims bank accounts, often for hundreds of dollars each.

Consumers who have bought items from a Michaels store with a debit or credit card are encouraged to monitor their statements, report suspicious account activity and change debit-card PIN numbers and other account security settings.
As genealogists we are also part of the larger commercial online world and subject to its challenges and problems. Whether the problem is the physical equipment or the online programs, the effect may be the same to those of us who use the Internet daily. Despite a lot of hoopla about working on the Internet in the form of "Cloud Computing" we all need to be aware that this is still a maturing technology and subject to constant adjustments. Adjustments that might mean loss of personal or genealogical data.

In the case of Michaels, the problem was using a debit card rather than a credit card, because the liability for losses is greater with a debit card than with a credit card.

So how do you use the Web for your genealogy? If a major program like Blogger can go down for an unanticipated time, nearly all other online applications probably have the same vulnerability. Whether you are storing data online or merely using the Web for information and communication, you need to have a backup that is separate from the unpredictability of the Web.

Considering the contemplated Microsoft purchase of Skype. If you are using Skype as your primary telephone service provider, you might want to have a backup system in the form of a limited use cell phone with another provider. If you are using one of the many online backup services, you may wish to have your own backup on a local external hard drive or flash drive. If you are posting your genealogy to an online service, you may wish to have your own genealogy files in a local on-your-own-computer copy.

Just some thoughts.

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