Technology has advanced at speeds that many find difficult to keep up with. One such advancement is the advent of the cloud. The cloud is an apt moniker, seeing as all some people know about it is that it nebulously saves information.
Because of this lack of understanding, there is a pretty sizable distrust of the cloud. That distrust is only exacerbated by some pretty high profile cloud breaches.
Should you trust the cloud? It’s hard to say. We can give you information to make up your own mind though.
What is the Cloud?
The simple answer is that it’s remote storage. Instead of keeping pictures, documents, emails, what have you, taking up space on your personal hardware; it can be uploaded and stored on a remote server. It helps to think of a cloud as a high-tech computer lab as opposed to a mass of gaseous water floating in the sky.
What is the Cloud For?
The cloud has three basic functions that are all pretty much variations of the same thing. First, they free up space on your device by saving data remotely. Second, they make it easier to transfer data from device to device by acting as an intermediary. Third, they make it easy to back up and recover your files by combining the first two things.
Is the Cloud Safe?
When it comes to the internet, it’s best to have a baseline understanding that nothing is ever completely safe.
That said, the cloud would be useless if nobody used it. Nobody is going to want to share their files if they are unsecured. That is why companies work especially hard to encrypt and protect information stored in the cloud. In fact, cloud security is some of the strongest on the internet.
At the same time, the cloud has been hacked before and likely will be hacked again. The best thing you can do is exercise discretion with what you choose to share on the cloud.
If it’s something not terribly important or private, feel free to use the cloud for sharing, saving, or backup purposes. If it’s something private that you wouldn’t want to get out, consider keeping it tethered to your own personal hardware.
We currently take for granted the fact that everyone has readily accessible internet access. The cloud is wholly dependent on a person’s ability to access the internet. That means as companies move more and more towards cloud-based interaction, it will leave those without internet access out in the cold. Moreover, if your internet connection is weak, it can make using cloud-based platforms especially difficult. There currently isn’t a great solution to this problem. It is unlikely the flow will go away from online interactions. If anything, we are likely to grow more and more dependent on the internet. From a macro level, it just makes things infinitely more convenient.
It also increases our dependence on something that is inherently prone to attack. A sufficiently executed cyber-attack could cripple our way of life as we know it. Let’s just hope we have a good I.T. person.