Welcome to our next addition of Ask A Tech Geek. This week we have a question that many are probable wondering about also.
We have all heard terms like the cloud, cloud computing, or cloud storage from our children, our friends or even on TV. You look up into the sky and say what they are talking about.
What is The Cloud?
Simply put, the cloud is a part of the Internet. It is all the servers (larger computer hard drives) that hold our information and data. The main reasons to use the cloud is its convenience and reliability to access information from anywhere at any time. While it may seem like a foreign concept, you are probably already using many forms of the cloud. Do you have Gmail, Yahoo mail, hotmail account or any type of emails? Guess what you are using the cloud. You can access these accounts anywhere any time through the web either on your device or another. When you send and receive emails, you are actually using a form of Cloud Computing because you are using the cloud to create and send emails.
If you are on any form of Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, etc) you are on a cloud. By uploading your photos or video’s, you are using the storage part of the cloud. By sharing them you are cloud computing. A few other well known Clouds is Drop Box, Google Cloud, and iCloud, they help you store your photos and files in a safe place.
Since Cloud servers are not usually located in your region, and are backed up (stored) several areas your information is safe from any chances of a natural disaster, like fire, floods, or earthquakes etc. The photos of your grandchildren, children, weddings as well as documents that you hold dear are considered safe. Yet how safe are the clouds from hackers and virus.
The clouds with private settings which means only you have access are considered almost impenetrable. They have a multitude of safety guards to help keep unwanted guest from entering your information. For example Google photos, Google cloud iCloud and Dropbox’s privacy features allow you to keep all your information out of the sight of others. But you have to remember the information is only as safe as you keep it as well. If you share your user name and password with anyone they have the opportunity to alter your information.
Facebook and Instagram safety features allows you to choose who sees your information and who you interact with but you must be careful of third party apps (Facebook games, trivia etc) that you allow to access to your account. Depending on the permissions you give them, they could have access to every part of your account including your photos and profile.
The cloud has become a part of our everyday digital life especially now with being sequestered and social distancing we are using the cloud to share information with family and friends. Just remember you have control over what you share and with whom you share on the cloud.
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