The Data Daily

What Is the 'the Cloud' and Is My Data Safe There?

Last updated: 01-12-2021

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What Is the 'the Cloud' and Is My Data Safe There?

If you have a device that was made in the last five years, you no doubt get constant pings about ‘the cloud.’

Tech companies are eager to have you transfer your data and documents into their cloud storage. If you haven’t made the switch, this move is understandably daunting.

‘The cloud’ doesn’t exactly sound like a secure place. Maybe if they called it ‘the vault’ or ‘the fortress,’ you would be more inclined to store your most valuable documents there.

But despite the name, the cloud is a surprisingly secure place to store your data.

The cloud is not in the sky or the ether. It’s a network of servers, on the ground, all across the world. These servers essentially do the heavy lifting that individuals and companies might not be interested in.

Cloud servers can store data, compute data, and give people access to apps and files across different devices. That’s because the information is not stored on their devices; it’s stored in the cloud’s servers.

Small businesses don’t need to build an external computing infrastructure to run their companies. They can utilize the infrastructure that cloud vendors have already built. And whereas businesses would normally have to purchase and implement the maximum amount of computing power they might need, cloud vendors often let you ‘pay as you go,’ so you only pay for what you use.

For an individual, the cloud can provide many advantages. You can free up valuable space on your device. You can access files and apps across your devices. For example, if you save a video on your computer, you can pull up that same video on your phone from a different location.

But you might wonder: aren’t my files more vulnerable to computer hackers if they’re stored on the cloud as opposed to my hard drive? Not necessarily.

Naturally, fears may arise around putting your sensitive documents in the hands of a third-party. Will they protect my data? What if the cloud servers fail? Will my data disappear? Can’t hackers infiltrate the cloud more easily than they could access my hard drive?

Major cloud companies like Amazon Web Services, iCloud, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, IBM, and more have taken steps to provide top-notch security.

The fact is that hackers can infiltrate your hard drive if you’re not careful. Through phishing scams, malware, or ransomware, they can do things like freeze your computer until you comply with their demands or hold your sensitive information for ransom.

But cloud providers take many steps to provide a higher level of security than the average person implements.

Check out this short video on cloud security:

Here are some of the security measures that most cloud services provide:

Although the cloud can provide these high-quality security features, no service is full-proof. You should still take basic precautions to help protect yourself. Always use a strong password, consider enabling two-factor authentication for important accounts, and never give your sensitive information away.

If you think you’ve been hacked, reach out to us immediately.

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