In this dossier you can read how you can use the cloud safely and responsibly. We will explain how cloud services work and what happens to your information when you store it there. Moreover, we will list what cloud services you can entrust your personal data to. We'll also show you why it's important to create backups and how you can do this in the best way.
The cloud is a popular concept. Everything needs to be saved in the cloud. But what exactly is this cloud? It might sound like this unreachable, abstract place in the sky, but that isn't exactly true.
In fact, the cloud is nothing more than a storage server that can be accessed through the internet. If you put a file in the cloud, you're storing it on a server that's owned by a certain company, the cloud service. This cloud service allows you to access your files through a website or app. This way, you can get access to all of your important files through the cloud, even when you aren't at your own desktop computer.
As you can imagine, this also comes with some risks. If you can reach your files wherever you are, other people might be able to do the same. For both personal and business use of the cloud it's important to protect and encrypt your files well. Otherwise your photos and documents might end up in the wrong hands. This is exactly what happened in 2014 with the cyberattack on iCloud. Back then, countless private pictures of celebrities were stolen and made public.
Nowadays, a lot of people work from home or in some other location that isn't their actual office. This means the cloud is used more and more. By working in the cloud and saving your files there, you don't need to be in a specific place to access your work files. In other words, working from home becomes much easier. You do need to take some security measures, however: when you work in the cloud, the importance of secure browsing becomes all the more evident. Using a strong and unique password to access your section of the cloud, for example, is one of the most important measures to take.
Some companies might have some concerns about the general safety of cloud services. Will their files be safe on someone else's servers? This is an understandable concern, but luckily also one that is easily solved. There are plenty of specialized companies that offer safe cloud services, specifically for other businesses. There you can get a personal server with dedicated support, with a strong level of safety guaranteed.
If you don't want to save your files in the cloud, you can also choose to make backups on your computer or on a separate hard drive. This means you'll always have a spare copy of your files. If your computer crashes, this backup will be there to save you a lot of stress. We'd generally advise you to make a backup of your most important files every month or so - or more often for important files that regularly change. You can do this manually or by using a backup program. Both options have upsides and downsides.
Backups aren't just important when it comes to saving the files on your computer. All of your other devices can probably use a backup as well. Our smartphones tend to be full of important information that we'd hate to lose. Backing up WhatsApp can ensure that you always have access to your most important conversations, even if your smartphone stops working. The same goes for all kinds of programs and devices.