While you may not be aware of it, cloud computing has become a major part of how we do things on a daily basis. It’s become part of our daily routine such as online banking, purchasing items off of Amazon and daily interactions on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace.
The cloud has actually proven over time that it’s a reliable way of storing files and conducting business, when compared to external storage. In fact, many businesses swear by it as they have greater flexibility in managing their information. That’s not to say that the cloud isn’t foolproof; it’s safe, yet there are risks such as power outages, for example. You buy a generator for your house in the event that your power goes out, so the cloud works as a generator for your files; even if their server crashes, the majority of cloud providers have back up systems in place to protect your information, in the event that there is an outage, so you’re actually not at risk of losing your data. If you choose more than one, you have a greater ability to access your files, should you be unable to retrieve them.
How Some Have Ruined the Cloud’s Reputation
One issue that has greatly affected and tarnished the reputation of the cloud is video piracy, where individuals store copyrighted material, such as videos and live audio recordings of rock bands, without the owners permission. In fact, much of the storage between honest individuals and the so called ‘pirates’ has become difficult to determine, and in some cases actual cloud storage sites have been seized and shut down by the FBI.
One particular case involved the popular site Megaupload, a popular storage site that served roughly 82 million customers, yet oftentimes featured illegally obtained content, such as live streaming of television programs. When the domain names were seized and the assets frozen on January 19, 2012, it cased a major headache for those who were simply storing their data, such as family photos, videos and work related information. As a result of this seizure, several other sites such as BT Junkie, Turbobit, and QuickSilverScreen either blocked their access to users in the US or shut down completely. What’s perplexing is that individuals who paid for accounts on Megaupload and had no illegal intentions whatsoever, have apparently been denied access to their data. It remains uncertain as to whether legal proceedings will ever transpire, due to the involvement of various international jurisdictions, and if the innocent victims will ever regain access to their data.
Why the Cloud is Still Safe
While there have been isolated crackdowns on sites that are clearly out to host items that violate copyright, the other unfortunate element of cyberspace is hacking which has caused some potential users to be skeptical about cloud security. Actually, your data is incredibly safe on the cloud, as practically all storage sites tend to encrypt the files that are stored on their servers; in many cases it’s the same encryption data used by banks and the government. Such software is a crucial part of the cloud, as it protects computer data so that it can’t be recovered without access to a code, that unlocks the software, therefore preventing hackers and unauthorized personnel from actually opening the files. This type of software has been extremely popular with major corporations who store their information on cloud services.
Despite some skepticism by potential users, cloud providers have continuously retooled and upgraded their product to ensure that everyone who uses their services has a positive experience.