|Cloud storage takes away a user's ability to manage their own data.|
Let’s focus on the theory of cloud storage in this article, not the companies that operate and run them. This leaves you more open to grasp the concept of cloud storage in its rawest sense.
Cloud Storage is a means of storing digital data on various servers (and often in various locations) around the world. These types of businesses are owned and operated by a hosting company. According to PC Magazine’s website, many of these hosting companies offer various cloud storage sizes. They range from 2GB, 10GB, 15 GB, 2 TB, and even unlimited. Unlimited means as much storage as you want. With these type of services, your files are easily accessible 24 hours / 7 days a week. Even better yet, these files are in their most up-to-date status because your data is saved around the clock from your laptop, smartphone and tablet. They are syncing between themselves to carry all your new data to the cloud.
Think of all this cloud storage as a paperless society. A paperless society is one in which all paper communication (written documents, mail, letters, etc.) is replaced by electronic communication and storage. Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster originated the concept in 1978, a former British-American information scientist.
With such a perfect system, what could possibly go wrong? This is technology at its finest, isn’t it? All of your personal documents, pictures, and music all dancing with the clouds above, the clouds of digital storage. Sounds like a digital heaven, doesn’t it? But it may not be your fault when a digital disaster strikes. It may be a human error that’s completely out of your hands. One of the problems is its digital—and that means it can fail. Any digital server can fail at any time. This means you could lose data (with no guarantees or financial backing). Once a perfect system now becomes your worst nightmare. No back up means no history.
The same “lost” theory holds true with email. You can hold thousands and thousands of emails in the provider’s server (which is a server located somewhere in the world) and you can create hundreds of private folders that are separate from your email’s main inbox. When you hold this much data, your memory begins to fade and your concern begins to dwindle. It gets to a point where you assume and expect that your email will be there every day. I describe it this way: It’s a natural progression into a “digital comfort zone.” Many users assume the best, but don’t expect the worst. Email is digital. It can fail (just like cloud storage). Many users have lost everything by storing all their email in a server, not documenting or printing it out. This whole paperless society idea doesn’t work well when you don’t have a paper trail to follow.
The one thing that creates the biggest concern for cloud storage is security. How secure is it? Can anyone steal it? With hacking incidents on the rise all over the world, digital systems are at risk: health care systems, social media, email, satellites, electrical grids, power plants, computers, and cloud storage servers. When you include world-wide terrorism acts, everything’s at risk.
People must understand the risk of letting cloud storage maintain and store all their personal information. It’s not a perfect system. Your best bet is to back up your own data and store it off-line, creating your own storage backup system. The online world is not safe. Read the news. Read between the lines. There are no guarantees about the safety and security of your data.
Author's Note: Cloud storage is a means of storing your digital life in various locations around the world. If you are comfortable with that thought, then do it; if you are not comfortable with that thought, then take action. You must learn to manage and maintain your own digital life. It's a corporation's desire to make everything in your life a walk in the park. But what skills do you lose? What about security? And who are cloud people? You must understand the "risks" involved when giving away your digital life to others (and we do that so often these days without any thought or concern). Since there are no guarantees about the safety and security of your data, I think it's time you start protecting your privacy. It's not what they want; it's what you need to do to be safe and secure in the modern world.
Want to learn some new tech skills? Try this: Little Black Book: Protecting Your Digital Life.