Sep 16 2014

Cloud Control

By Bob Hooper for The Island Connection 

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It seems that some very famous, rich and pretty stars found out the hard way that what you put on the internet is no longer yours. Regardless of the guarantees provided by some company, large or small, if you “save,” backup or store data in the “cloud,” it can be vulnerable to attacks and could be compromised.

Pictures of stars in poses that were not for general consumption ended up displayed across the net but for you and me it could be our address, SSN, credit card numbers or even unflattering information about us.

Carbonite, iCloud, SkyDrive, Google Drive, etc. are all platforms to store you data in the cloud. Essentially, the cloud is a hard drive or set of hard drives sitting somewhere in the world.

It could be downtown Charleston or it could be in Brazil. Usually with large companies it’s in what is called a server farm, stuffed with thousands of internet linked machines that continually access your data, backing it up multiple times in different geographical regions. It’s encrypted and normally can only be accessed by you with your username and password. But, as with anything out of your personal control, unintended things can happen— as the pretty rich girls found out. Very sad and completely wrong, but avoidable.

Do not put anything you don’t want seen on the internet, and the cloud is on the internet. If you have sensitive data consider storing it on an external hard drive that is owned by you and stored in your home or bank lock box. I have no real problem with doing online back-ups, just be aware that it could/can be compromised.

Personally I do back-ups on two different hard drives that I keep control of, one in the home and one off-site in case of fire/disaster. If you answer questions online, fill out forms for whatever reason, post pictures to Facebook, Twitter, Vine or any of the sharing sites, just remember that the data is no longer yours and could be used in various forms without your knowledge or consent.

Just remember if you put it on the ‘net you no longer own it. There are many wonderful reasons for the internet, not all are good and people are always looking for a sucker. Don’t be one!

As always if you have questions or need help you can call Rent A Bob at 843.822.7794 or email at rentabob@live.com.

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