A combination of factors have contributed to the negative image of cloud storage but if users exercise the proper caution, it can still be a powerful tool to back up one’s data.
Users Don’t Understand How to Properly Use the Cloud or Secure Their Data
There are still many users that don’t understand how the cloud works and we can blame the media for that. For example, the movie Sex Tape is about a couple whose video was accidentally “uploaded to the cloud” and it went viral.
Thankfully, that is not how it works. When one uploads information to the cloud, it is put into an account specifically for that user and is in theory only accessible by that user. That data will not go viral unless someone gets hold of the login information for that account.
Even then, if users properly secure their data and cloud accounts, the odds of this happening is slim. For starters, users should only upload encrypted data to the cloud and they should engage in both strong password protection and two-tier authentication for logins.
Hacking is a Real Threat
Remember the celebrity hacking scandal of 2014? Known around the web as “The Fappening,” many actresses had their personal photos, saved on the iCloud, publically shared online. What made this a mortifying event for these actresses was the scandalous nature of these photos, as many were nude pictures.
That is a perfect example of how motivated hackers can use publicly available tools to hack the cloud. Part of that problem stemmed from what we mentioned in the last section regarding securing one’s account.
There are a myriad of tools out there that are available to hackers, so it is important to practice the best cloud storage practices. Otherwise one’s account could be a victim of the next major attack on cloud storage.
Providers are Not Standardized
One issue that turns off many to cloud storage is lack of standardization. Services and security vary greatly depending on provider. One example is that some providers offer end-to-end data encryption for their service while others may not.
Some providers will offer two-tier authentication for all logins while others may offer it as an option or may not offer it at all. And then there’s storage capacity. One provider may offer a TB of data for $10 a month while another may offer half that space for the same price.
Providers vary so greatly that there’s no real benchmark in either direction, and this is concerning for some users. One way around this concern is to review cloud storage reviews online. There’s plenty of information on the internet regarding the various providers and it is wise to conduct extensive research before signing up for a service.
One of the biggest concerns regarding cloud storage is the legal ramifications over stored data. For starters, depending on which country that the service is located one may or may not have actual ownership of the data.
By location, we mean the physical location of the cloud storage servers. While some countries allow for intellectual property rights for cloud storage, these laws vary depending on which country a server is stored.
If data is stored where one is not afforded those rights, the cloud company can use the data how they see fit and even release it to other companies or even the government.
Cloud Storage Still Viable if Proper Precautions Taken
While there are many concerns regarding cloud storage, it is still one of the best options for data backup provided that the proper precautions are taken. This starts by making sure that all data is encrypted before uploading to the cloud. Next, one needs to practice proper account security that includes strong passwords.
Next, it is advisable to avoid storing any data on the cloud that could result in legal liability. If one needs to store this type of sensitive data, then make sure that maximum encryption is used and that the data key is not stored on the cloud but rather locally.
With the right precautions, users can still enjoy all the benefits of cloud storage without the concerns associated with using the medium.