If you are at all interested in technology, you will have seen plenty of references to “The Cloud”. You may also have seen the recent stories about celebs having their photos stolen from The Cloud and are wondering if The Cloud is actually a good place to store sensitive material.
So let’s answer the question “What is Cloud Computing”?
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is working with services and resources which are not present on the device you are using.
So, for example, if you take a photo on a smartphone and upload it to Instagram, you are using the cloud. Your photo is not stored anywhere except the cloud but can be viewed by anyone with a browser or Instagram app. Likewise if you receive a file in Gmail and edit and save it using Google Drive, that file is never present on your device, it remains in the Cloud.
This is a very powerful tool. If you need files in multiple locations (desktop computer, laptop and tablet), just save the file to the Cloud and it is available wherever you want.
A businessman can create a document at his desk, then save it to the Cloud. The document is then accessible via a tablet whilst travelling.
A student can start writing an essay on their home computer, save it to the Cloud and then continue it on the train or at a friend’s house.
More sophisticated Cloud applications allow work groups to share and cooperate on documents.
Obviously it is important to avoid your resources falling into the wrong hands. Cloud applications come with complex security arrangements but these can be negated by poor quality passwords and easy to guess credentials. It’s incredible how many people still use “password” as their password. Or their name followed by 123.
When setting up a Cloud application (like Google Drive or iCloud) follow the provider’s guidance to create strong passwords and credentials.
If you get the security right, the Cloud can be a powerful tool to make your life much easier.