Saving files on our computers is known and familiar to everyone. We are doing it ever since we first got our computers. We know how to process works, where the files can be found, how to share them, and everything else related to that.
However, what happens when we put our data in the cloud? Where does it go? Who has access to it? Is it really safe to do that?
People have been wondering about these things since putting files on cloud came out as a thing. So, today, let’s discuss these questions, see what cloud really is, and is it safe to use it.
What is the cloud?
The cloud as we know it is nothing but a fancy name for a network of servers that serve one purpose. Also, let’s add the fact that a server is another fancy name for another computer. Its point is to serve your computer, and so the conclusion is that the cloud is a bunch of connected computers.
Of course, the network in question is way bigger than that. It often consists of entire warehouses of connected servers. It needs to be big enough to suit everyone’s purpose, and that you can use it for storing data online. The warehouses with these servers are both owned and guarded by big companies that offer cloud memory.
These companies include Apple with its iCloud, Google with its Google Docs, as well as Dropbox. Cloud can be accessed from any computer that has the internet, and anyone who’s ever used Google Docs knows this. You can store pretty much anything on it in an (often) limited space, and then access it later whenever you wish.
What are the risks of using the cloud?
The security risks do exist, despite the fact that clouds are much better protected than individual computers of its users. Still, criminals can access them, especially if they are capable enough. They might bypass the password, or guess it by accident, either way, they might get access.
One such hack happened in 2014, and the consequences included the leak of nude pics of many celebrities. Some would even agree that privacy is a much bigger issue than security.
Even if there’s no hack, someone else might access all of those files. By the government, for example. They keep the right to demand access to cloud information, and whether or not will they get it depends solely on the cloud provider. Many would give them access to at least something if only to avoid further troubles with the authorities.
Cloud owners are receiving requests for access every day. On the other hand, privacy risks aren’t that different on the users’ individual computers. They too can fall victims to hacking and have their data stolen.
What are the benefits?
Sure, there’s the risk that government might check out your data. However, they probably won’t get permission to do so unless they have a strong suspicion about you. On the other hand, putting files on the cloud is much safer than guarding it yourself.
Warehouses that store cloud servers are usually far away and heavily guarded. It’s basically impossible for someone to sneak into one such warehouse. Also, all of the stored data in encrypted, and not to mention the firewalls that are guarding it the systems. Basically, putting your data on a cloud is very recommendable.
Also, you’ll have access to that data at any time, as long as you have access. That means that you can access your favorite book, pictures, or anything else at any time. And they’re also free to use. It’s a much better and easier way of carrying your data with you then to buy a bunch of USBs.
Clouds are very helpful, free, and always accessible, as well as safe from hackers. True, it’s not completely safe from your government, but you’ll hardly be interesting to them unless you’re a criminal.
Tips for enhancing security of the cloud
- If you wish to help out with making your cloud secure, there are a few things that you can do as well. And since it’s your data that the clouds are protecting, it’s only logical that you wish to make it as secure as possible.
- One of the best thing that you can do is to use hard, strong passwords. They should be long, include numbers and symbols, and they should also be unique. Never use the same password on several different places, and never use something that a hacker might guess easily.
- Also, it might be a good idea to backup some important files on different cloud accounts. You never know what could happen, and you surely don’t want to use the only copy of something important.
- Lastly, browse with care. If you’re using a public computer to access your cloud, first note that it’s a bad idea. Don’t forget to log out of it, and it goes without saying that you shouldn’t save your password.
Using a cloud for storing your data is safe. In fact, it’s probably much safer than storing it on USB or keeping it on your computer. A simple malware could steal it from you, while even the toughest hackers will have some serious issues if they try to break into the cloud.
Your privacy might not be perfectly safe, but it’s the same with the computer you’re using right now. Bottom line is, as long as you’re using it the smart way, you’ll be perfectly okay.