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3 Reasons Why It Is Dangerous to Store Your Data in the Cloud

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A picture of two clouds and other symbols like email, photos, music and messages all connected together for the cloud data storage security.
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Data in the cloud? Yeah, the cloud isn’t necessarily the safest place for your head or your data, and here is why.

Cloud storage has become an integral part of life in the digital era. Most of our values have shifted to prioritize digital information and online presence. One of the most convenient ways to have access to our lives in the digital form–whether it be in pictures, written pieces, or important work data–is by using cloud storage. Storing information on the cloud usually means storing one’s data on an internet server that is usually dependent on the internet to be accessed and doesn’t take up storage on one’s device. Essentially, you have access to unlimited storage that is accessible across all your device at a small cost. It is a very desirable innovation, especially to those that are extensively invested in both the digital world and their digital belongings. But like everything, there are caveats. 

As delineated by numerous IT experts, there are several dangers of using cloud storage at both a corporate and individual level, but oftentimes the reasons are expressed in coded (LOL) jargon that isn’t very accessible to cloud users, at least not as clear as Cloud storage providers explain the benefits of the cloud.

To offer some clarity, here are some prevalent privacy and security issues with Cloud storage usage: 

  • Since data on the cloud is stored on an online server, it’s pooled with other users’ data. Therefore, if there is a breach in the system, or the collective space is hacked, your data becomes a very vulnerable target. Since the data is stored and transmitted through the internet, it is very susceptible to hacking or being accessed by undesired parties. 
  • The aforementioned collective server where data is stored is usually offered by a third-party provider that is usually not disclosed to the consumer when they establish an account. This essentially removes agency from users, especially since they know a limited amount on the location of their data, who has access to it, and how secure it’s kept.
  • And just like in real life, if you trust someone with your things and something happens to the person you trusted, they’re absolved from what happens to your things. If the storage providers suffer any losses or damages, such as physical damages, to the servers or data breaches, your information will no longer be secure or it may even be permanently lost. 
A hand holding an iPad with a cloud above it.
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With a plethora of information putting into question the integrity of cloud storage, it may be hard to think up alternative destinations for data that are safe, respectful of user privacy, and equally as convenient as the cloud.

Surprisingly, there are several options that don’t involve surrendering your sensitive information to an online server. although in this digital age, privacy and security come at a hefty price, here are a few options to consider as alternatives: 

  • The most common and safe way to store one’s data is in a portable external hard drive. With this method, users have complete control and agency over their data, who can access it, and where it ends up. There are some limitations to it, but it ensures the privacy and security of your information. There are many models with varying sizes. 
  • The following method is an interpretation of a more safe and private cloud network. It is called Network-attached Storage; it’s essentially attaching a hard drive to your home network through the router. The information will be uploaded to your personal home cloud, and it will only be accessible in your home. This will limit the number of people that have access to your information in your online network.
  • If you find that the previous options aren’t feasible for you, please consider getting in the practice of encrypting your data. This ensures that if someone gains access to your data, they won’t be able to view it. It is an added layer of protection for your information that upholds your privacy and provides some security.

With that said, by surrendering to the digital age, you are resigning your right to privacy and security in terms of your information and data. Feel free to use the suggestions provided above as a starting point for your research and journey into taking agency over your private information in the digital age. Happy saving! 

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