Physical and Digital Data Storage - What You Should Do

There are two ways to store data in 2015—physically or digitally. Physically means to either print the data in some form to paper, tape, or a physical medium such as hard disk. Digitally, however, can take many shapes and forms. They each have pros and cons as far as security and accessibility.

What is digital storage?

Digital storage can also mean storing data to physical media, where there may be a crossover. A hard disk, for example, stores data physically, but using binary digital data on a platter, in the case of a classic hard drive, or in the case of a solid state drive, on a logic board. These are different types of digital storage to physical media.

What is physical storage?

Physical storage can mean storing data to some sort of disk, hard drive, CD, DVD, BluRay, or tape. It might even mean paper document storage at places like Vital Records Control. These vary in complexity and ease of access but are often necessary for your business’ success. They often refer to cloud data or big data services today.

What is the cloud?

The latest forms of digital media are stored in the cloud. The cloud is a term that comprises multiple copies, or redundancies, of digital media on physical media, such as a data warehouse. These are made up of servers, which house multiple types of data in multiple formats across multiple platforms. Simply put, they take care of multiple forms and comprise multiple databases using certain easily accessible formats.

Formats available to consumers are available in many shapes and forms. The number one thing that stores people’s data, which they may not realize, is in the cloud format. This stores emails, video game saves, bank account information, and so forth. It is something people rely on daily and often do not recognize they do so.

To store data today, the recommended approach is to utilize the cloud. It is redundant enough to have stored the data in multiple locations and formats. To back up important data, one should use a physical medium such as a DVD or CD to have a hard copy in case of failure. If one needs an important paper or document, it is recommended to print a copy on paper and keep it in a disaster-proof safe that will be safe from physical tampering, but to also back it up to one’s own email or cloud service.


Physical media, such as a paper in a safe, are more prone to security breaches than are digital data. Safes can be physically stolen. Paper media or discs can be destroyed easily by fire or loss of some other type. These data can be lost or compromised leading to financial loss or even identity theft.

It is best to store important data in multiple formats. Physical copies on a flash drive or personal compact disc are advisable. Secondary backups are advisable for data that needs to be copied or refreshed often, such as email or cloud services such as Dropbox or another service. Backups are advisable for anything that needs to be saved for a particular length of time until deletion is needed or required.


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Anica O

About Anica O

You can connect with Anica at anicaoaks@gmail.com.

Anica O

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