Computer experts now recommend that we store our data in “The Cloud”.
This sounds like a strangely ephemeral place to put our precious photos, videos, and files, does it not?
Can we trust the cloud to store our important data?
What, exactly, is the cloud, anyway?
Cloud computing is the storage of data on different servers in different locations.
Despite using different locations they act as one in regards to your data.
The hosting company charges you a small fee to store your data with them on their servers.
This has several advantages.
You only pay for the amount of storage you need,.
This method of storage tends to be disaster-proof.
Not all of the servers are in the same place and therefore not all of them will be destroyed by the same natural disaster.
That is a very durable system as it creates copies of your data to protect your data better.
Which Cloud Storage to Pick ?
Once you decide to use the Cloud Storage you have two things to take care of.
Step 1: Pick what cloud storage to use
There are several things to consider.
What devices do you want to use.
How is the cloud storage is used.
How well saving documents and pictures is integrated.
Step2: Where and how can you access it
You need to get access to your information and files when you need them.
Make sure they allow access on all devices and where you need it.
Cloud Security Concerns ?
The main concern with cloud storage is security.
Your hosting company may own thousands of servers.
And is replacing physical equipment on a regular basis.
There may be times when the old equipment contains data that has not been deleted.
When you throw out old devices unauthorized people could possibly obtain access to your information.
The hosting companies also have a lot of employees who may or may not be trusted to hold your data safe.
Your data will also be traveling from one place to another, and interception may be possible.
If your data is sensitive, or you want it kept secure, cloud storage may not be your best bet.
Security and what Not to store in the Cloud
There is a balance between total convenience and security that needs to be considered.
Security of your pictures while important is far less important that your financial security.
High security concerns
Passwords are instantly high security items that should be on your mind.
Never store passwords on the cloud, but you normally should consider that right away.
Also make sure you do not use high value passwords in anything on the cloud.
For example do not use your banking password for cloud storage login.
The Biggest Mistake
The biggest mistake people make today when they commit to setting up and using Cloud storage for Data Backup is human error.
Having the cloud setup for a Desktop or Laptop computer is fast and easy.
Setup your files you want to be in the cloud actually onto the cloud.
Set the computer path to access your files there and boom, you are done and setup.
Even outlook is simple with a similar setup method.
But where is becomes a tricky issue is with out Smartphones.
Out two most important data uses on our smartphones are our Contacts and our Pictures.
Pictures are a problem because even with a memory card the pictures are ALWAYS stored locally on the phone itself.
To have your pictures safely stored on the cloud you must physically move or copy the pictures into the cloud.
This required step has resulted in over 95% of the pictures taken on smartphones are not safely stored and backed up.
You need to setup a regular time each month to review your pics and move the important ones into the cloud.
Failure to do so will almost for sure result in you scrambling to recover lost pictures.
Data Ownership issues
Some of the Cloud Storage Companies state in their privacy and usage policies that all data you upload to their system is now owned by them.
This is very similar to social media companies.
This can cause you unforseen issues in the future.
All your photo’s could be used with facial recognician software to identify you and all your friends in the streets in the future.
You have to decide if this is okay before uploading your data.
And Lastly …
You must always keep in mind that very few companies these days remain viable for long periods of time.
Mergers, takeovers, and bankruptcies occur.
Your cloud storage hosting company is not immune to any of these things.
If your data is all in their hands, you may find yourself one day unable to access any of your data.
That will leave you with no recourse because the company no longer exists.
You may want to make sure you have a backup system for your backup system.
Many people have started using the Cloud Storage methods for our Data storage needs.
Some data that will never be on the cloud and we need to figure out a great plan to backup and secure this Data.
Read our Main Article on Data Backup & Recovery to understand your options and limitations.