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An Introduction to the Cloud

Tech Talker demystifies "the cloud" and explains why it's a good idea to take your data to the skies.

By
Eric Escobar
4-minute read
Episode #13

Is Your Data Safe in The Cloud?

But why data centers? For starters, your data is much, much safer in a data center than in your house. Data centers store information on hard drives, and the data on each hard drive is backed up on another hard drive in the data center, so if one drive dies, your data is still safe. And even if a whole data center goes down in flames, there are backups to their backups all around the world. Not to mention that each data center has been engineered to survive almost any disaster that man or nature can throw at it!

That’s impressive physical security. But many people have reservations on keeping their data somewhere they cannot physically see. I’ll admit, this one took me a while to reconcile with also. But once I learned how the cloud works, all my reservations went out the window, and I’ll tell you why. Most online backup solutions, services, and programs will encrypt your data on your home computer before sending it to a data center. What this means is that your data is already scrambled, encrypted, and locked before it ever leaves your home computer. So even if someone were to break into a data center and steal every shred of data, all they would have really stolen is a bunch of random zeros and ones that would take millions of years to crack. Good luck, data thieves!

Let me also mention here that I believe we shouldn’t simply rely on the cloud to store all of our data. It is important to have many copies of your data, just in case. I personally use two back up methods, an external hard drive and the cloud. That way, if my house burns down and I lose all of my computers and hard drives, I’ll still have everything online to restore from. And when zombies rise up and take over the world and every data center becomes overrun and I’m the last of the living, I can sit back, crank up the generator, and have all my videos backed up and good to go!

Here are your 4 Quick and Dirty Tips for the cloud:

  1. The term “the cloud” refers to storing or computing something on the internet

  2. Keeping files and information on the cloud allows you to stay mobile

  3. The cloud offers exceptional security both physical and virtual

  4. Most cloud services encrypt your data before it even leaves your computer, so even if a hacker were to get your data, it would be unusable.

So whether you like the cloud or not, that is the direction the technology industry is headed. In fact, in one way or another I bet every one of my listeners has some information stored on the cloud. For example, if you use Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, or Facebook, welcome to the cloud!

Have a question about anything in this episode or a suggestion for a future podcast? Send me an email at techtalker@quickanddirtytips.com or post it on the Tech Talker Facebook wall.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

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About the Author

Eric Escobar

Tech Talker demystifies technology and cutting edge devices so that even the most tech illiterate can understand what's going on with their computer or gadget — and what to do when something goes wrong.