Is the cloud safe?
In this blog we will consider the safety of the Cloud when compared to our humble old personal computer. But first we need to consider what is actually at risk.
What is at risk?
Anything that you own which is in the form of 0 & 1’s! Photo’s, images, music; personal and business records; all are stored like this;
I have lost a large proportion of old photos of when our children were growing up! Yes this happened to me (and I consider myself as reasonably IT savvy!) even though they were backed up on two separate devices! My pc’s hard drive failed so I bought a new pc and tried to reinstate them from two separate old backup devices but both failed too. You could say I was unlucky, but I am not so sure. Did you know that all magnetic media has a shelf life and deteriorates with time just like your old VHS tapes? Did you also know that only the latest pc’s have solid state drives? Oh, and guess what? Knocks, heat and general old age kills them too! In addition to hardware failure, your pc is also vulnerable to malware attacks, viruses and ransomware.
Now that we have reminded ourselves of the vulnerability of our personal computer, lets now consider the cloud.
What is the cloud and is it secure?
Let’s just get this one out there first. Nothing is one hundred percent secure. Fact.
Ok, but what is the cloud?
The cloud is the term used to describe the “on demand” availability of someone else’s computer. But these are not just any computers, they are very complex infrastructures consisting of numerous computers which are held in some of the most secure locations in the world. These locations are run by corporations who invest large amounts of money to keep your data safe. The data is encrypted and stored behind complex firewalls and held in systems which can stand multiple failures without data loss and it is available anytime of the day and night from anywhere.
What about my privacy?
Your data can be viewed. Governments can request to see data and they do, regularly. That said, the operators of the world’s data centres and the companies that use your data are aware of their respective responsibilities and your fundamental right to privacy. If they did not, they would not last long in business.
So should I trust the cloud?
That’s the million dollar question, but the fact is, if you have a smart phone, you already do!
What can I do to keep my data safe?
* Keep very little on your pc.
* Make sure your virus and anti-malware software is up to date.
* Use two-factor authentication where possible.
Remember nothing is 100% safe.
All back up media has a shelf life, can be lost or stolen.
Think about what is at risk and then think about what actions you can take to reduce the risk of loss and hopefully you will be able to hang on to those old photos a little longer!
Fancy reading a little more? – Why not read our blog about password protocol?