Whether iCloud or Dropbox or Box or OneDrive or GoogleDrive or Amazon or hundreds more such services, businesses aplenty want us to start storing valuable files, photos, music, and movies on a server farm connect to the internet. Server farm? Yes. That’s the dangerous world of the cloud.
Send In The Clouds
The cloud isn’t anything new. Cloud computing or cloud storage is merely an updated term to describe a section of the internet of things.
Almost every modern personal computer– Mac to PC, iPhone and iPad, and devices in the Android world– connect to the internet and all have cloud storage options.
How safe is cloud computing? How safe are your files when they’re not stored on your Mac, iPhone, or iPad?
As with everything in the digital age, there’s an inherent danger regardless of where we stores documents, files, photos, movies, and media. In some cases, storing files on a cloud service makes a good backup plan for locally stored files.
Cloud services like Box, Dropbox, and iCloud have integrated apps which make it mostly seamless and effortless to keep files on a device and stored on a cloud server.
I like that accessibility and extra backup.
Dangerous Dark Lining
If every cloud has a silver lining it’s the cost and convenience of cloud storage; more convenience, lower costs. If storm clouds bring danger, where’s the dark lining of cloud storage?
In a word, security.
In fact, each cloud service I use and others I’ve tried tout their security as a feature. But how secure is secure if both government and business have their data and customer information stolen?
Hello? From recent headlines– Target, Mt. Gox, Visa, MasterCard, NASDAQ. J.C. Penney, Kickstarter, Yahoo, Neiman Marcus, and many others (that list took all of about 60-seconds).
All were hacked and had customer and company data stolen. If those companies, all with millions to spend on security and storage, cannot keep hackers out, how can Apple, Google, Microsoft, and startups like Dropbox, Box and others do it?
There is no such thing as foolproof security when it comes to storing files online. Fools are just that ingenious. It’s not a matter of if you’ll be hacked or lose your data. It’s a matter of when.
What. To. Do.
So, what can you do? It seems every technology company wants us to store our files on their cloud (the aforementioned server farm). Go ahead. Just make sure that what’s stored there is backed up at home or office.
What about credit cards and financial information? Personally, I don’t think any of today’s credit card transactions (at least in the U.S.; Europe is somewhat different) are safe, so it pays to watch your transactions closely, keep cards and accounts used to buy online at a minimum.
The problem here is twofold.
The first is that we’re totally connected to the internet of things, and that includes cloud storage. Mac, iPhone, iPad. We use all the devices to buy and transact. It’s not easy to get off that grid.
The second is to recognize that online thieves don’t usually go for one person’s credit card– they steal by the millions, so it’s easy to get caught up in the trolling net. Cloud computing isn’t going away, but responsibility for our data doesn’t go away, either.