USE AT YOUR OWN RISK
It seems like an everyday event, personal information being hacked online, but why now, when we are so protected? Well, let's discuss these never ending real life disasters and maybe the answers are just common sense.
First, the CLOUD is big business, very profitable like cable television and cell phone services so it attracts huge capital investment, government support and marketing promotion. Portrayed as a simple and secure method to store your personal data, available to you any time and place.
Yes, technically these services make data storage simple and available, but having a large volume of data in one place also attracts hackers who consider the cloud a target of opportunity.
History repeats itself once again and tragic lessons are learned, bandits usually strike at the point of greatest reward, in this case, server farms (the cloud) that house tens of millions of private data records. For hackers this is "the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow". The news that another cloud provider has been hacked is becoming routine, but with minimal publicity.
The cloud is also a jackpot for the NSA, IRS and other government agencies that can gain legal access to private information without your consent.
Cost of cloud entry is another enticement, for as low as $5 a month you can be lifted into the cloud to store your life and everything of value. Remember the cloud is a "service" and by definition therefore is a never ending expense. Similar to what we've experienced with cable TV and cell phone service providers, this is another big business, offered by huge companies that result in ever increasing charges, and don't forget those government fees are sure to follow.
"THE CLOUD" what great a marketing term, it's sexy, technical, trendy, a mysterious term for a lot of servers in a warehouse that can be accessed by you, your family, friends and others legally or illegally. This truly is, great marketing!
What happens when there is a known data loss or breach, do you get a refund, legal assistance or will the professionals explain how it's your fault for not changing you passwords on a regular basis and so on?
Ever ask how you get your data back if your computer crashes, what it costs and how long it takes?
Again, what great marketing! Very few people know or even ask, "How do I get my data back from the cloud" they just assume it will magically reappear! Reality is it could take weeks and cost hundreds of dollars and the faster you need it, the more it cost.
STAYING OFF THE GRID- A LOGICAL ALTERNATIVE
If you're off the grid, common-sense says "you're probably a less rewarding target". Logic says "the cloud is a bigger target with bigger rewards and thus has a greater public impact". Hackers love the media attention.
Remember, government agencies can access your cloud account legally without your consent or knowledge! Why expose yourself to unnecessary intrusions.
An alternative to the cloud is local backup; it's simple, fast, secure and a cost effective storage method for keeping private what is important to you. An external backup device not connected to the internet and in your physical possession obviously is less vulnerable to online internet hackers or unauthorized individuals.
PERSONAL CONTROL OF PRIVATE DATA
Personal control of your data stored in the cloud has limits. Do you have a clear understanding of the circumstance where unknown individuals may have access to your data, will you be notified when government agencies or unauthorized individuals gain access, and will the cloud service accept liability for these activities? Personal backup solutions inherently provide more security, less exposure to internet influences and provide more control and visibility over unauthorized access. In addition, you personally know where your data is stored.
Do large corporations store their information in the CLOUD? No Way!
Performing a simple data restore in a timely basis is another key benefit of a personal backup device. Often this process is not addressed until a disaster occurs and performing a complete system restore from the cloud is not a practical. Data transfer rates from the cloud are limited, so typically service providers must physically mail data back to you. Note; they return data only, not your operating system or application software.
There are many personal backup and recovery solutions offered, ranging from data only solutions (offered by most hard drive manufactures) to image backup programs (offered by software developers) to high end zero down time solutions that allow a failed computer to be automatically restarted and operated from the backup device until it is convenient to perform a system repair. This can't be found in the clouds!
Another consideration is the initial upfront one-time cost of personal backup solution vs. perpetual cloud service fees. Personal backup solutions range from $70 to $200 depending on feature-set and will typically last 5-10 years. Cloud services like other services are charged on a monthly or yearly basis for the life of the service and data recovery services are additional and charged separately.
Give careful consideration to liabilities, costs, performance and control issues associated with the mystical cloud before storing private data in an outsourced server farm located somewhere, with invisible management.
Latest figures show that there are about 2500 cloud service providers that outsource to server farms around the world (such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple to name a few).
Then ask yourself, who's responsible?
For more information on local backup and security solutions go to http://www.cmsproducts.com or www.cesecure.com