For many, the concept of cloud computing is a bit elusive; you assume that “the cloud’” is storing your files and information, but where is it all going? Admittedly, the cloud is a confusing concept, yet it can be incredibly beneficial and convenient for the average user. It allows you to work seamlessly from different devices, while providing a sense of security, knowing that if anything were to happen to your devices your data would not be lost.
Of course, many of these benefits have been overshadowed by movies like Sex Tape, which highlight the damage associated with unintentionally sharing private information with contacts. Fortunately, cloud technology needn’t be such an inaccessible concept as long as you know the basics.
What is it?
The cloud is an online storage service that serves to back-up what is stored on all of your devices and sync data between your cloud enabled devices. Cloud backup allows you to backup data from your device without the added step of plugging it into your computer. Once you enable automatic backups, your device will archive device settings, app data, purchase history, messages, and voicemail. Enabling versions of photo sharing will also store your photos and videos automatically. For a visual tutorial on how to set-up Apple iCloud on your iPhone check out this quick video here.
Things like DropBox, iCloud, and even Google Drive are some of the most comprehensive storing options. These drives let you sync files between devices. Even if you began working on a Microsoft Document on your laptop, saving it your chosen Drive will make it accessible through smartphone or tablet apps. Make sure to check the Settings of your devices to guarantee everything is linked and properly syncing. Easily edit documents on-the-go no matter what device you have.
Is the cloud secure?
Take Apple’s products into consideration: iCloud only has the ability to sync with other devices with the same Apple ID. This means if you’re using the same Apple ID on your MacBook, iPhone, and iPad, information will be shared amongst all three devices. Additionally, if you have children set up on the same account data will be synced with their devices as well. However, transmitting data to other Apple accounts through iCloud doesn’t need to be a cause for concern.
Apple states that “iCloud secures your data by encrypting it when it’s sent over the internet, storing it in an encrypted format when kept on server…and using secure tokens for authentication.” This simply means that your data is constantly protected whether it’s being transmitted to other devices or stored in the cloud. Apple uses the same level of security that many financial institutions employ. So, if you feel comfortable with online banking, you should feel equally as comfortable using the cloud.
For many, the inability to physically see their files saved on a computer or hard drive brings on a bout of anxiety. Fortunately, the cloud allows you to see your files updating across devices, which should provide a sense of comfort for the uneasy. Give the cloud a test-run by enabling some of the applications mentioned above. You might be surprised how easy cross-device life can become with the help of advanced cloud technology.
Kali Muir is an ambitious freelance writer with a BA in Communications. She was born in Canada but has since lived in Norway, Denmark, and England. Her work experience is as diverse as her past addresses, including roles in technical communication, corporate communication, marketing, and article writing. She has experience working in varied business sectors: Oil & Gas, Engineering & Technology, Clothing & Equipment Retail, and Creative Writing. Follow Kali’s professional and personal journey at www.kalimuir.com, or connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.