Security is often a concern we have with technology. One area we’re never too sure about is the Cloud. Since we don’t physically have the files we place in the Cloud, it makes it hard to trust it, especially in relation to hacking. We asked our writers, “With all the hacks lately, do you still trust saving your files to the Cloud?”
Miguel doesn’t mind storing his non-sensitive data in the Cloud, noting, “A hacker wouldn’t be interested in pictures of cats doing silly things or my shopping list.” However, with sensitive data, he encrypts it before he stores it in the Cloud. He helpfully adds that the best applications for that “will never store a key on a server anywhere” and will instead “encrypt the files with a key based on a passphrase you create yourself.”
Phil replied to the question, stating, “it depends whose corner of the Cloud you are speaking of. If their business is predicated on tight security for people’s data, then a loss will impact their business, probably terminally.” He trusts that they will take necessary care to keep data safe. “It’s a bit like flying with major airlines – you minimize risk if you place your trust in the majors.”
Fabio does still put his trust in the Cloud, as if “a hacker really wants to get into something, he/she will.” He also notes that some companies have some really great minds working for them, so that makes him believe the data is safe.
Ada agrees with Miguel. If it’s not sensitive, she’s okay with storing stuff in the Cloud. But if it’s really sensitive data, she doesn’t even keep it on her hard drive, going with external devices. “I guess I trust myself even less than I trust a cloud file hosting provider.”
Simon does the same, noting that cloud services are fine for “documents which I wouldn’t mind a total stranger seeing,” making the analogy that if he could print it and leave it on a park bench somewhere and still sleep soundly, he doesn’t see a problem storing it in the Cloud as backup. However, with sensitive documents, he doesn’t take the risk and uses external hard drives and memory sticks.
Alex uses a professional data center, Backblaze, trusting it far more than his own backups. “They make it their business to store data safely,” but even though he attempts to make his backups secure, he knows he’s more likely to make a mistake. He trusts their “specific expertise and ability over my own jack-of-all-trades tech knowledge.” His sensitive data is encrypted with a unique key so that even the best hackers would only get a heavily-encrypted archive.
I do the same as Fabio. I don’t take any special measures. I don’t store many really sensitive things anyway. I do all my computing on iOS, so anything stored just goes to iCloud, but I’m not saving anything really important. The few times I do, like when we used to file our taxes ourselves, I still trust iCloud.
How do you feel about this issue? Do you also separate your data with regards to what’s sensitive and what isn’t and store it accordingly? Or do you have more faith in the Cloud? With all the hacks lately, do you still trust saving your files to the Cloud? Join our conversation in the comments section below!