Easing Cloud Concerns, Now You Can Enjoy and Embrace the Cloud!

Still scared of the cloud?  Well, you’re not alone.  Stats show a good number of individuals and corporations are still apprehensive about incorporating this relatively new technology into their lives and businesses.  However, most people are already using forms of the cloud without even realizing it.  iTunes is a perfect example, and one of the first commercially available “cloud” platforms.  Most people don’t think of iTunes as being a cloud-based application, but it certainly is.  And, so are many other popular services, including Gmail, Dropbox and Hotmail, just to name a few.  So, chances are, you are already using the cloud in some form or fashion. The apprehension settles in when people start considering storing their business or personal files in the cloud.  Fears, both real and perceived, are still keeping people from utilizing this revolutionary technology.  This article will discuss some common fears and what you can do to help ease your cloud anxiety.

I’m Afraid I’ll Get Hacked!

This is a very legitimate concern.  Hackers are the thieves of the Internet, always in search of their next victim.  While there is no “hack proof” application, website or platform, there are steps you can take to minimize the chance of becoming a victim.  Remember, hackers are like criminals – they tend to prey on weaknesses.  First, if you are using a reputable cloud provider, chances are they are incorporating advanced security measures to protect the integrity of the data they store.  Researching your cloud provider’s security and track record is of the utmost importance.

Most of the time, “hacking” is not a result of the cloud provider’s lack of security, but of the users themselves.  In reality, many of us make common, but careless, mistakes on a daily basis that increase our chances of falling victim to a hacker. It is always a good practice to choose complex login passwords with numbers, symbols and both lowercase and uppercase letters.  Be sure to use different passwords for all of your logins.  Public computers and public Wi-Fi’s are havens for hackers.  So, when logging in to any application, do so from a secure connection. Protecting your laptop, tablet and phone with a password provides and extra layer of protection since you can log in to cloud storage via any mobile device.  If your cloud application or provider requires you to upload security updates, do so as soon as they become available.  Remember, if you are using a reputable cloud provider, chances are their security measures to protect your data on their servers far outweigh the protocols you are taking with your own in-house equipment.
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Is My Data Really Safe?

Cloud providers go to great lengths to protect the integrity of their client’s data.  Can you imagine the public relations nightmare for a cloud provider who acted carelessly with customer’s data?  Take a moment to think about this…how safe is the data you choose to store on your laptop or on a flash drive, which can be easily lost or stolen? Keeping data in the cloud eliminates reliance on “local” storage because everything can be accessed remotely online.  Unless someone can “crack” your password, your data is perfectly safe with most providers.  The key, once again, is to research the policies and track record any provider you consider using.

I Feel Like Big Brother is Watching

Storing data remotely and accessing it online can make one feel like “someone” may be monitoring the information transfer. Choose a cloud company as you would any other trusted provider – like a doctor, financial institution or real estate agent.  Remember, most cloud providers understand they have more to lose than to gain by compromising or leaking your data.  Would your doctor disclose your private health information?  Most cloud providers, like other service professionals, take the privacy and confidentiality of your data very, very seriously.

This Costs Too Much

Yes, there are costs associated with cloud storage and computing.  The price you pay will be determined by which provider you choose, what features you want and how much storage you need.  In most cases, the benefits ultimately outweigh the costs.  Have you ever had a computer or network crash?  If so, do you recall just how much time it took to recover and restore your data?  That is, if you were even able to recover your data.  And, how long were you unable to work while you or your IT department spent endless hours trying to recover files?  When you operate in the cloud, the devastating consequences of system crashes become a thing of the past.  If you crash or fall victim to a virus, all of your data is easily recoverable and restored from the cloud. You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind or the ability for your business to quickly recover.

Bottom line, most people are apprehensive about the cloud simply because they are not familiar with it.  Hopefully this article put some common concerns to rest.  They key to having a positive cloud experience is to carefully research providers and choose the one which best fits your needs, security and level of comfort.   

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Gina Smith writes freelance articles for magazines, online outlets and publications for companies such as
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