Patrick Marshall answers your personal-technology questions each week.
Q: In a recent column you recommended using the cloud instead of a hard drive for backup. We have avoided the cloud because of security concerns, and the possibility that someone inadvertently or on purpose deletes/erases/corrupts our files on the cloud. Also, it requires that the internet be accessible to restore files, and access is not always available during natural disasters or just normal power outages. Do you have any other suggestions?
— Marty Arnot
A: Personally, I have to say that I’m much less concerned about the security of my data in the cloud than from my computer being hacked or becoming the victim of ransomware. And I’m especially less concerned when that same data is automatically replicated on multiple computers. Keep in mind, though, that if a file is changed on one computer when it’s not connected to the internet, the changes won’t be synced to other computers until the computer again has an internet connection. The whole idea is to have your data automatically replicated in several locations.
But you do remind me to provide one caution for those who want protection against ransomware. If you are victimized by ransomware — malware that encrypts your data until you provide ransom — it can encrypt your data in the cloud as well, unless you subscribe to a cloud service that does versioning of your files, retaining earlier versions of files as well as the latest.
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If you still want to avoid backing up to the cloud, your options are the old ones: backing up to one type or another of external drive. But you’ll want to store it someplace secure just in case that natural disaster strikes. And you won’t want it in the same location as your computer that is being backed up.
Q: I just completed the Windows 10 Creators update, and now find that when playing videos in Microsoft Edge, with an HDMI connection to a monitor, and from there, an audio connection to a soundbar, the video plays fine, but the sound stays on the PC. No problem with video or sound in Chrome — they both go where I want them to — but only with Edge.
I Googled my situation, and have yet to find an answer that works. I know I can just use Chrome, but had switched to Edge after reading that it was your choice. Any thoughts?
— Carl Grimes
A: I haven’t found any specific answer to that issue, but I’ll keep looking. In the meantime, I should clarify that I don’t prefer Microsoft Edge as my internet browser. In fact, I regularly use multiple browsers, since I’ve found that each one of them has limitations. While I most often use Chrome, for example, I’ve found that I can’t highlight and copy text in The New York Times. Edge allows me to do so.
So if I’m not able to find a specific fix for your sound problem with Edge, my recommendation is, yes, to use Chrome for videos.
Q: On Yahoo’s financial webpage, I can bring up quotes of different companies in a chart for comparison. I used to be able to delete some companies from the comparison chat by clicking on the “x” by the stock symbol. But now I cannot delete any symbol in the chart. Would you please help?
A: I’ve tested Yahoo’s financial quote charting tool with several different browsers and have found it to be unstable. Sometimes I’m able to add companies to the comparison and sometimes not. Sometimes I can remove them from the comparison by clicking on the “x” and sometimes not. The one thing I have noticed is that I’m never able to remove the first company in the chart from the comparison.
My conclusion? The web app that does the charting is not working properly. Contact the webmaster at Yahoo and tell them about the difficulty you’re having.