The Cloud uses the internet to provide immediate access to various computing resources, which include applications, e-mail, communication, content sharing, and electronic transactions. The cloud can provide these services that you can access remotely, or via the internet through your web browser. Offsite, secure third-party data centers manage all of your cloud data. This storage means you can access all of your data at your convenience.
To put this another way, have you ever laid around and looked at the clouds? You may see one cloud become an elephant while your friend looks at the same cloud, and see’s a giraffe. The cloud is all about perspective. To one person it may be where they store all their pictures or tax documents. To someone else, it’s how they operate their entire business, with the cloud the possibilities are endless.
“I don’t need a hard disk in my computer if I can get to the server faster…
carrying around these non-connected computers is Byzantine by
comparison.” – Steve Jobs (1997)
Cloud Legal Issues
- Trans-border Data Flow
Data is crossing state and international borders constantly. This action becomes important because it becomes foggy to whom owns this data. Does the person who sent the data own it or the person receiving the data? We usually assume the sender, but that assumption a lot of times can be wrong. If legal issues come up, where do those court proceedings take place and who is found at fault?
- Legal Rights
Who and under what circumstances can someone gain access to the data in the cloud? Users believe it’s theirs, and they are protected, but that’s not always true. Under most circumstances, you will need to go back and read your user agreement to find out. But, in the event of authorities having a subpoena you still have to hand over your data.
5 Tips to Stay Secure
- Avoid Storing Sensitive Data
If all possible, avoid storing your sensitive information on the cloud. If you have a choice, you should opt for keeping your crucial information away from the virtual world or use appropriate solutions. Things like personal health information, tax records, and personal billing information are items to think of storing elsewhere.
- Read the User Agreements
If you are not sure what cloud storage to choose or have questions about your current cloud storage, reading the user agreement will benefit you greatly. It will be long and tedious, but the document will have the essential information you need to know.
- Be serious about your Passwords
One of the best ways to secure yourself is to have a strong password. Following password best practices like creating unique passwords that use a combination of words, numbers, symbols, and both upper and lower-case letters is a great first step. Secondly, please don’t use easily guessed passwords such as “password” or “user.”
Encryption is one of the best ways you can protect your data. When you create that spreadsheet, before moving it to the cloud, make sure you protect it. One way of doing that is by putting it into a password protected zip file. That way, no one is ever able to see the content of the file without knowing the password. Here at Leap, we like to use B1 Free Archiver to encrypt our zip files.
- Use Encrypted Cloud Services
Using an encrypted cloud service like Sharesync lets you rest easy knowing your files are safe. Your data is encrypted at rest and in-transit, with an additional account-specific unique security key. Content protection features a guard against accidental deletion or version conflict, and permissions and access are also strictly controlled. To learn more about ShareSync read our blog on it HERE.
It’s not often that we choose to send a bunch of photos by email, and you probably don’t remember the last USB drive you used. The cloud has become an integral part of doing business and personal life. More often than not, it’s a place where you are storing data permanently. Following best practices to make sure you are staying safe in the cloud is more than common sense, it’s a necessity.