Cloud storage is a useful and convenient tool, both for individuals and businesses. Users can access the files they need anywhere and anytime, seemingly eliminating the need for external storage devices. It has so far shown to be reliable and easy to use.
However, people will naturally have apprehensions about the issue of safety, especially concerning sensitive or important data. The question on users’ minds: Is cloud storage safe?
While there is indeed a degree of protection assured by cloud storage companies, users have to consider certain matters before uploading all their important files.
The Risks in Cloud Storage
1. Service providers have limitations
While the technology itself is consistently reliable, not all cloud storage service providers can guarantee flawless service. Many providers are relatively new, and still in their early phases of development. Some do not yet have established methods for resolving complaints or assisting users who experience problems with the service.
Especially with fledgling providers, there is a high possibility that their processes and policies will still be altered, even without warning. There is also a risk that the company may go out of business, and users might have no choice but to say goodbye to their files.
2. Passwords can be hacked
As with anything placed online, cloud storage solutions are not immune to attack. This doesn’t mean that the system is unreliable – it’s simply a fact that hackers can be a menace. Cloud storage is rapidly rising in popularity, and anything popular tends to attract cyber criminals.
Each user must be responsible to create a strong, unique password, as well as change it regularly. It is also advisable to use different passwords for various accounts. Putting anything online has its advantages, but it also has dangers; it might be worth considering how important it is to use an external hard drive.
3. There is a risk of data loss
Data loss is a minor risk, since most cloud services have generally proven to be safe and reliable. There have only been few and rare cases in which cloud service providers have lost data.
4. Privacy is not entirely a privilege
Most cloud storage companies employ encryption methods, so files can remain protected, even in while in transit. However, not all providers have fortified security measures and may require a third-party option.
A more important concern is the fact that service providers have full access to whatever users upload. Providers will usually be up-front about this in the user agreement, claiming free admission to all data in able to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions. With this setup, a single security breach will put everyone’s files at risk.
5. Cloud storage companies are accountable to the law
In any case that government agencies require a search or seizure of data, storage providers are liable to submit to the subpoena, with or without the users’ permission.
While cloud storage is a wonderful technology, it may not be best to rely entirely on the service. Always take your own safety precautions concerning passwords and uploading sensitive data. Take the time to read the user agreement and know what you are submitting yourself to.
The reasonable thing to do is have some other backup storage; it isn’t safe to keep all your files in a single place. You may already know how important it is to use an external storage device, but even if you prefer using cloud storage it would still be a good idea to use one alongside.