There are an increasing number of services offering ‘cloud storage’ where you can upload documents, photos, videos and other files to a website to share with others or to act as a backup copy. These files can then be accessed from any location or any type of device (laptop, mobile phone, tablet etc.).
Once you have registered for an account you typically create a folder on your computer and every file you place in that folder is copied to the servers of the storage provider. Any changes made to these files are automatically copied across and immediately accessible from other devices you may have. Most services offer a limited service for free with paid-for versions allowing greater or even unlimited storage space.
If you choose to store your files in the cloud you need to remember that this means they are really just stored on servers controlled by the service provider. Some providers of cloud services may also use the cloud services of another organisation.
This means you need to check that the security and availability of the service is right for the types of files you want to upload.
Tips on Cloud Storage:
· Review the privacy settings carefully, there are three main levels of control:
- Private – Only you can view the files. (The Cloud storage provider can still access your files)
- Public – Anyone on the internet can view the files without restriction.
- Shared – only persons you invite can view the files.
· Choose a strong password. With an increased amount of personal information being uploaded to the cloud, there is a greater risk for cybercriminals to steal your data. Use the strongest password possible and change it frequently.
· Check the storage provider’s Terms and Conditions and Privacy policies. All policies should be clear and transparent about how your information is stored and what they will or will not do with it. If this information is not readily accessible or available, consider alternative providers.
· Check the type of encryption or security that the provider can offer. Data can be encrypted by your web browser so that whilst it is being sent between you and the cloud storage provider it cannot be read or modified along the way. If you are using a web browser you will see a padlock symbol and the URL will start with ‘https://’.
· Consider encrypting the information before uploading. In this way, the files will be meaningless if accessed by unauthorized persons.0