Cloud-based services have become much more common in the last few years, adding convenience to our collection of devices we use each day to go about our business. From syncing contacts or bookmarks across machines to sharing files and backing up data, mobile devices in particular are becoming little internet machines.
But is putting all this data on cloud servers safe?
Using the cloud works similarly to any other internet-connected interaction. Your computer (or mobile device) establishes a connection with a server and exchanges information, except that most cloud-based traffic is encrypted.
One bit of safety most people enjoyed with personal computers at home is the relative anonymity of being “just another person.” Anyone is technically vulnerable to hackers, but hackers generally target businesses or higher profile individuals. The average user usually avoids trouble by blending into the crowd in this sense.
This has raised the concern about cloud servers that they’re targets simply because it’s known that a lot of people’s information is stored there. Cloud servers have teams of people monitoring and maintaining them, however, not to mention they’re armed with security far beyond anything running on most people’s personal computers.
It makes sense when data is the business model.
Like a bank, cloud providers need to ensure a high level of security so that users are comfortable putting their data there (like storing money for a bank). And just like with a bank, any system can be beaten by someone determined. But the security is intense enough to discourage 99% of malicious deeds. Competition is getting fierce between cloud providers, down to amount of space available for free and at each price point.
What none of them wants is a reputation for compromising their user base’s information, and this is good for the user.
Most cloud providers are large companies such as Google, Microsoft, and Apple. There are many others of course, but the point is that these providers have the resources to create a secure environment to store large amounts of data safely.